One new article link has been added to our Related News page. Forbes published an article titled Surprise! With $60 Million Genentech Deal, 23andMe Has A Business Plan.
People who have bought 23andMe kits and agreed to donate their data to research (that’s about 600,000 of the company’s 800,000 customers) automatically consent for 23andMe to sequence their genomes. 23andMe says that it is also able to share anonymous and pooled data about their self-reported health traits without asking. But Genentech wants even more: it wants to look at health and genetic data on an anonymous but individual basis. For that reason, the company will have to ask customers if they want to enter the study.
One big question behind 23andMe’s business model has always been whether customers will be happy or upset when they find out that they realize they have paid to be used in for-profit research projects. “I’m sure some people will feel great, no problem, and some will feel cheated,” says Hank Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University. “And the reactions will form a bell curve.”