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uBiome Files for Bankruptcy

Microbiome testing firm uBiome has filed for bankruptcy, as GenomeWeb reports.

In late April, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation searched the firm's San Francisco office as part of an investigation into its billing practices. uBiome offered tests examining the vaginal microbiome for sexually transmitted diseases and bacterial infections and the gut microbiome for metabolic disorders, but suspended its clinical operations in May, on the heels of that investigation. At the same time, it placed co-CEOs Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, who co-founded the firm in 2012, on administrative leave. Business Insider reports they were then removed from the company in July.

Business Insider adds that there have been questions about the science the firm is based on. A June Business Insider article reported that the firm inflated the medical importance of its tests and focused more on growth than patient care as it shifted from its origins as a citizen science project to a clinical testing company. It now reports that the firm's bankruptcy filing indicates that some of the firm's current problems stem from those issues.

According to GenomeWeb, uBiome plans to continue to offer its health and wellness product Explorer as it sells off its business products.

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