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23andMe Adds Drug Discovery Experts Dr. Erik Karrer, Ph.D. and Dr. Alice (Yu) Chen, Ph.D. to Growing Therapeutics Group

August 11, 2015

Following this year’s landmark FDA clearance for genetic health reports, company will use funds to fuel customer growth and further invest in its research platform

Mountain View, Calif. – August 11, 2015 – 23andMe, Inc., the leading personal genetics company, announced today two new appointments to its therapeutics group. Dr. Erik Karrer, Ph.D. joins as director of drug discovery and Dr. Alice (Yu) Chen, Ph.D. joins as senior scientist.

Dr. Karrer brings more than 16 years of industry experience to 23andMe. He most recently served as chief science officer of RuiYi Inc., leading discovery and preclinical development of antibody therapeutics in multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Chen joins with more than 15 years of drug discovery experience. She was most recently with NGM Biopharmaceuticals, where she served as lead biologist for preclinical antibody programs.

“Both Drs. Chen and Karrer are proven industry leaders in biology and drug discovery,” said Dr. Richard Scheller, chief science officer and head of therapeutics, 23andMe. “Being able to tap the experience and skillsets of Drs. Chen and Karrer will advance 23andMe’s drug discovery capabilities, helping further our mission of translating research into new therapies based on human genetics.”

As director of drug discovery, Dr. Karrer will be responsible for the management of programs within the therapeutics group, from target identification through preclinical development of drug candidates.

“Drug discovery from human genetics is both well-established and rapidly evolving. With more than one million genotypes linked with disease-relevant phenotypic data, there’s no better place to advance these efforts than 23andMe,” said Dr.Karrer. “There’s already an incredible amount of data and talent at the company and I look forward to working together to uncover new drug pathways for unmet medical needs.”

As senior scientist at 23andMe, Dr. Chen will contribute to target discovery efforts and lead in vitro validation of targets and drug candidates.

“I have dedicated my career to drug discovery and development, working to provide biological insight to advance treatments,” said Dr. Chen. “I am excited to be joining the therapeutics team at 23andMe, and am eager to contribute to the collective goal of responsibly utilizing 23andMe’s unique research platform to uncover new treatments for disease.”

23andMe is actively hiring in a variety of areas, particularly for geneticists and computational biologists. For more information on available positions please visit

About 23andMe

23andMe, Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is a leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, the company’s mission is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has pioneered direct access to genetic information as the only company with multiple FDA clearances for genetic health reports. The company has created the world’s largest crowdsourced platform for genetic research, with 80% of its customers electing to participate. The 23andMe research platform has generated more than 180 publications on the genetic underpinnings of a wide range of diseases. The platform also powers the 23andMe Therapeutics group, currently pursuing drug discovery programs rooted in human genetics across a spectrum of disease areas, including oncology, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to other therapeutic areas. More information is available at