23andMe Receives FDA Clearance for Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Test on a Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Syndrome

Clearance allows 23andMe to report on the two most common genetic variants influencing MUTYH-associated polyposis, a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome.

Mountain View, California – January 22, 2019 —23andMe, Inc., the leading personal genetics company, today received FDA clearance for a genetic health risk report on a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome.

The clearance follows the FDA’s authorization for 23andMe’s BRCA1/BRCA2 (Selected Variants) Genetic Health Risk report in March 2018. The MUTYH-Associated Polyposis report was submitted to the FDA using the 510(k) submission pathway, enabled by the BRCA decision in March 2018. These two reports are the only direct-to-consumer genetic health risk reports for inherited cancers that have been authorized or cleared by the FDA for use without prescription.

“We are committed to giving people affordable and direct access to important health information that can impact their lives,” said Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe CEO and co-founder. “We believe improved access to genetic testing and health information will help people engage in their own health.”

This report is not yet available, but as soon as it is ready for release, it will be offered to new Health + Ancestry Service customers as well as existing 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service customers who have been genotyped on the company’s most recent platforms. The FDA included both this report and 23andMe’s previously authorized BRCA1/BRCA2 (Selected Variants) Genetic Health Risk report in a single “Cancer Predisposition Risk Assessment System”  regulation.

And as with the BRCA1/BRCA2 report 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service customers must choose whether or not they want to receive this information. Like with other 23andMe Genetic Health Risk reports, this one will also include an education module to ensure customers are informed on what they can learn from this report and how to interpret the results, as well as its limitations.

For example, information associated with this report will clearly state that hereditary colorectal cancers only account for about 5% of all colorectal cancer cases. Additionally, this report does not look at variants associated with Lynch syndrome, which is the most common form of inherited colorectal cancer. The two variants included account for the majority (~80-90%) of MUTYH variants in people of Northern European descent. However, more than 100 variants in the MUTYH gene are known to be linked to MUTYH-associated polyposis.

The two variants included in 23andMe’s MUTYH-Associated Polyposis Genetic Health Risk report are most prevalent in people with Northern European ancestry at between 1 and 2 percent. These variants have also been found in people of other ethnicities. Carrying both of these variants or having two copies of one of these variants increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. If left unchecked, carrying both of these variants or having two copies of one increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer to between 43 and 100 percent. The risk for those who have just one variant is uncertain; however, some studies suggest that the colorectal cancer risk may be slightly increased, particularly for those with a family history of colorectal cancer.

The FDA clearance for 23andMe’s MUTYH-Associated Polyposis Genetic Health Risk report demonstrates substantial equivalence, through the FDA’s 510(k) pathway, to it’s predicate device 23andMe’s BRCA1/BRCA2 (Selected Variants) Genetic Health Risk report.

This FDA clearance follows several years of work by 23andMe that has led to four separate FDA de novo authorizations for direct-to-consumer genetic tests for carrier status, genetic health risk reports, select BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants and pharmacogenetic reports. Each has included an extensive FDA review process in which 23andMe submitted studies and evidence demonstrating that our reports are scientifically valid and understandable for consumers, and that the results are analytically reliable. For this newest clearance, the MUTYH-Associated Polyposis Genetic Health Risk report adhered to the same standards used in our other reports, including greater than 99 percent accuracy and utilization of key informational concepts that achieved 90 percent or greater comprehension in a demographically diverse population.

About 23andMe

23andMe, Inc. is the leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, the mission of the company is to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. The company was named by TIME as a “Genius Company” in 2018, and featured as Fast Company's #2 Most Innovative Health Company in 2018. 23andMe has millions of customers worldwide, with more than 80 percent of customers consented to participate in research. 23andMe, Inc. is located in Mountain View, CA. More information is available at www.23andMe.com. 

Media Contact(s)

For press inquiries, please contact [email protected]

For healthcare professionals, please contact [email protected]