Today 23andMe announced that we’ve submitted our first round of 510(k) documentation to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The application provides a detailed description of our Personal Genome Service®, extensive data supporting the performance of our technology, and comprehensive discussions of the science supporting the information we present to customers about their genetics and its impact on health.
Not too long ago personal genomics was a new idea. Consumer personal genomics was even more novel — the idea that everyone, not just doctors and researchers or those with special health needs, could know what was in their DNA. What wasn’t new was the desire to improve our knowledge of what all that DNA means and for that knowledge to make a difference in people’s lives.
We started 23andMe six years ago with those goals in mind and since then more than 150,000 people have joined us to learn more about what’s in their bodies and to contribute to our innovative research platform. Already our growing research community has made discoveries in many diverse topics, including the photic sneeze reflex, male pattern baldness, and Parkinson’s disease.
As with anything new and potentially disruptive, there have also been concerns. The FDA responded to some of these concerns by indicating that direct-to-consumer genetic testing services require regulatory review to remain on the market. We remain strong in our belief that consumers have a fundamental right to their personal genetic data. We believe personal genetic data will power a revolution in healthcare. But we also recognize that appropriate oversight of this industry can be a stepping stone on the path to realizing that revolution.
For the last three years we have worked with FDA to apply their regulatory approach to direct-to-consumer genetic testing. It is important to us that a regulatory framework for genetic testing reflect the dynamic nature of genetic science and protect individual access. What we know about the genome changes every day. If we want our genetic information to be current, there needs to be a way for us to update that information quickly.
We are confident that our initial application to the FDA is complete and comprehensive. Being the first in the industry to announce we are actively working toward FDA clearance of our direct-to-consumer service demonstrates our commitment to make personal genetics an integral part of routine healthcare without sacrificing people’s right to access information about themselves. Our goal is to remain the world’s trusted source of genetic information — not just for people with a doctor’s order, but for everyone regardless of why or how they choose to learn about their DNA. DNA is fascinating, but it’s even more fascinating when it’s about you.