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uBiome Suspends Some Testing

Microbial testing firm uBiome is suspending its clinical operations following a Federal Bureau of Investigations search of its offices, Business Insider reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month following the FBI's search of the uBiome offices that both the FBI and the California Department of Insurance are investigating the firm's billing practices, as are some insurers themselves. Some uBiome patients told the Journal that investigators had contacted them to ask about doctors' roles in ordering tests.

Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, the company's co-founders and co-CEOs, are now on administrative leave, and John Rakow, the company's general counsel, has been appointed as interim CEO, as GenomeWeb has reported. It added that the firm has launched an independent investigation into its billing practices

Business Insider now reports uBiome has halted the sale and testing of two of its doctor-ordered tests, SmartJane, which analyzes the vaginal microbiome for sexually transmitted diseases and bacterial infections, and SmartGut, which analyzes the gut microbiome for gut and metabolic disorders.

"At this time and until further notice, uBiome will not be offering SmartGut or SmartJane," the company said in an email to customers, according to Business Insider. "We will not be releasing clinical reports, processing samples, billing health insurance, or shipping new collections kits."

Business Insider adds the firm is still offering its direct-to-consumer Explorer test.