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23andMe on the Nasdaq

In its first day of trading, 23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent, as GenomeWeb reports.

23andMe merged with special purpose acquisition company VG Acquisition Corp., sponsored by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, to become a publicly traded entity on the Nasdaq with the ticker symbol ME, it adds. When the deal was announced in February, 23andMe said its enterprise value was about $3.5 billion.

Fortune notes that 23andMe co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki had long been wary of taking the firm public, but now says the pandemic further piqued people's interest in genomics and sequencing as well as in healthcare more generally, changing her mind. Additionally, the SPAC merger approach allowed 23andMe to go public while avoiding the uncertainty of an initial public offering, Fortune says.

According to Yahoo Finance, shares of 23andMe rose 21 percent to close Thursday at $13.32. GenomeWeb adds that the company said it raised about $592 million in gross proceeds, which it is to use to expand its consumer health and therapeutics businesses as well as to develop its genetic and phenotypic databases.