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23andMe Launches Consumer-Enabled Research Program to Actively Engage Individuals in Genetics Research

May 29, 2008

“23andWe” Mission: To Dramatically Accelerate the Pace of Genetics Research

Mountain View, Calif. – May 29, 2008 – 23andMe, Inc., a privately-held personal genetics company, will announce today at The Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital” conference in Carlsbad, California, the official launch of “23andWe”, an extension of its Personal Genome Service™ (“PGS”). The 23andMe PGS allows individuals to learn about their own genetic information through the latest advances in DNA analysis and web-based interactive tools. The service enables customers to gain deeper insights into the genetic basis of their ancestry and health-related characteristics by linking research findings to their genetic profiles. 23andWe marks a new approach to genetics research. By directly involving 23andMe customers in the company’s research projects, the goal is to conduct large-scale studies powered by a web-based community of diverse individuals who are willing to share information (on a confidential basis) about their health and other personal traits.

How 23andWe works:

  • 23andMe will evaluate and approve research proposals for inclusion in the 23andWe program.
  • Once a proposal is approved, 23andMe researchers will develop on-line surveys for collecting phenotypic information from 23andMe customers.
  • Customers then can participate in the study by completing the on-line surveys.
  • When the data are compiled, 23andMe researchers will analyze it with the goal of determining the genetic bases for certain traits or diseases.
  • 23andMe will provide 23andWe participants with regular updates about 23andWe projects and information as to how they can become more involved in genetics research.
One of the first initiatives of 23andWe seeks to advance the understanding of Parkinson’s disease through a partnership with the Parkinson’s Institute of Sunnyvale, CA. This project is designed to improve current methods of collecting information for Parkinson’s research by leveraging the internet to dramatically expand the involvement of Parkinson’s patients in clinical research and increase the frequency and quality of patient data collection. 23andMe expects to add more 23andWe initiatives on a regular basis. 23andMe co-founders Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki hope that 23andWe will usher in a positive change in the approach to genetic research, one that will garner results more quickly and inclusively. “We encourage disease communities to utilize the platform for self-initiated studies, which could be especially compelling to those with rare conditions.”

About The D: All Things Digital conference
The Wall Street Journal’s sixth annual D: All Things Digital conference is being held May 27-29, 2008 in Carlsbad, California. The conference brings together the top players in the world of digital technology for conversations about the impact of technology on society now and in the future.

Media Contact:
Proposals for 23andWe studies can be sent to:[email protected]

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