23andMe Launches Web-Based Personal Genome Service™ Outside U.S.

January 22, 2008

23andMe Expands Reach Globally into Europe and Canada Following its Successful U.S. Launch

Mountain View, Calif. – January 22, 2008 – 23andMe, Inc., a privately-held personal genetics company, announced today that it has begun making its services available to consumers in Canada and 49 European countries. The company, which officially launched in the U.S. on November 16, 2007, helps individuals understand their own genetic information through the latest advances in DNA analysis technologies and web-based interactive tools. 23andMe was recently selected as a 2008 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and will be participating in the 2008 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting from January 23-28, 2008 in Davos, Switzerland. Representatives from the company will be available to press and forum attendees at the 23andMe Booth on Wednesday, January 23rd to Saturday, January 26th 2008 from 10.00am – 2.00pm and 5.00pm – 11.00pm CET daily. The 23andMe Booth will be located on the first floor of the Belvedere Hotel (Promenade 89/7270 Davos-Platz) in Davos.

The 23andMe™ service enables its customers to:

  • Search and explore genes contributing to their personal characteristics, such as lactose intolerance, athletic ability, and food preferences;
  • Learn how the latest research studies relate to their genomes;
  • Compare their profiles to family and friends who are also 23andMe participants and trace the inheritance of genes associated with specific traits;
  • Discover genetic roots and find out where and how their ancestors lived and learn about the prehistoric events they experienced, and;
  • Actively participate in a new research approach and contribute to the advancement of the field of genetics.

Linda Avey, co-founder of 23andMe, said, “We are receiving overwhelming interest in our services outside the U.S. and are pleased to now offer them in Canada and Europe. Our web-based service model has made the European and Canadian offering possible, and we hope to continue to expand our global footprint to additional locations in the future.” Ms. Avey continued, “We believe 2008 will be a year in which our understanding of the human genome will increase significantly through international research efforts, and we are eager to continue connecting individuals to this growing knowledge base of genetic information.” “23andMe came together because we believe in empowering individuals by helping them understand their genetic make-up and actively engaging them in the development of new ways to accelerate research,” said Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe. “We enter the European and Canadian markets with great momentum and are excited to continue toward our goal of offering our services to the global community.”

How 23andMe’s services work:

  • 23andMe sends individuals a saliva kit containing a bar-coded tube for saliva collection. Customers then use the enclosed mailing materials to send their samples to 23andMe’s contracted laboratory. The DNA is then extracted and exposed to a microchip-like device made by Illumina, Inc., a leading developer of genetic analysis tools (Nasdaq: ILMN), that reads more than half a million points in the individual’s genome, including a proprietary set of over 30,000 information-rich markers, chosen by 23andMe scientists, to produce a detailed genetic profile.
  • Once the analysis has been completed, individuals are able to use their own private login to access their data via 23andMe’s secure website. Using 23andMe’s web-based tools, individuals can explore their ancestry, see what genetic research means for them and compare themselves to friends and family members.
  • Participants become part of a community that works together to advance the overall understanding of the human genome.

Joining the 23andMe Community
To learn more and embark on your own personal genetic journey, please visit: www.23andMe.com. 23andMe is now available to consumers in the following locations: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vatican City State.

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 www.23andMe.com.