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LunaDNA to Issue Company Shares in Exchange for Personal Genomic Data

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Startup genomic and medical research company LunaDNA is getting out of the crowded cryptocurrency field by assigning actual monetary values to the clinical and genomic data it purchases from patients.

In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission today, California-based LunaDNA listed a schedule of "fair market" dollar values for 25 different types of genomic, phenomic, medical device, and related data, which participants can exchange for shares in the company. The company is offering up to 714.3 million shares for a maximum aggregate value of $50 million, which works out to an average value of $.07 per share.

For example, the company will issue 300 shares, worth about $21, for a whole-genome sequence of a tumor that would go into an aggregated de-identified database. An RNA tumor microarray can be exchanged for 10 shares, valued at $.70. The company also will offer shares for such data bits as health records and information from wearable fitness trackers.

Holders of these shares will only receive occasional dividends and distributions, according to the filing. The non-transferable shares will not carry any voting rights or entitle holders to profits.

LunaDNA is in a mandatory quiet period pending approval of its plan, so company officials are unable to comment other than through the SEC filing.

The company launched late last year with the idea that it would offer a cryptocurrency in exchange for personal genomic and clinical data. It appears to have modified that plan as the field has grown to include several competitors such as Encrypgen, Zenome, MyGenomeBank, and