Company: “23andMe is cashing in on… your DNA. Should its customers get a cut?”

“Gene-testing company 23andMe has licensed a drug it synthesized using customers’ DNA to Spain’s largest pharmaceutical company, raising thorny questions of privacy – and property. Whose genes are they, anyway?…

The Almirall deal is the first time 23andMe has directly sold a product created from the genetic data of the 10 million-plus users who have submitted their DNA over the company’s history. While the company claims 80 percent of its users have expressly consented to having their genetic material used for “drug discovery,” its ‘Therapeutics’ division, which shares anonymized customer data with at least six biotech and pharmaceutical firms, has only existed since 2015, and it was only in 2018 that 23andMe inked the $300 million partnership with GlaxoSmithKline that gave one of the biggest entities in Big Pharma exclusive rights to paw through 23andMe customers’ DNA for possible drug targets. Early adopters likely had no clue their genetic material would lead to such large sums of money changing hands…”


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