Announcing 23andMe’s First Patent

[Ed: A clarifying addendum has been added to the end of this post. – 6/01/12]

23andMe has a substantial research arm with more than 20 scientists dedicated to making meaningful discoveries that will improve the lives of all of us.  We’ve made a number of discoveries that we’ve published in peer reviewed journals and on our website.  As we make these discoveries, we have often debated: what is the best way to make sure that genetic breakthroughs translate into real-world benefits?  We want to make discoveries that will impact your life and the lives of everyone on the planet.  We do not want our discoveries to just be an academic pursuit — we want to meaningfully improve lives.

Our patent, “Polymorphisms Associated With Parkinson’s Disease” is expected to issue on Tuesday, May 29, 2012. This relates to our discovery of a variant in the SGK1 gene that may be protective against Parkinson’s disease in individuals who carry the rare risk-associated LRRK2 G2019S mutation.  Our patent is an important step in ensuring that we’ve done all we can towards successful translation of this discovery.  If the follow up work we are now doing with the Scripps Research Institute and the Michael J. Fox Foundation looks promising and moves towards drug development, the patent will be important for a biotech or pharmaceutical company to pursue drug development.

We believe patents should not be used to obstruct research or prevent individuals from knowing what’s in their genome. We believe that everyone has a right to know their genomes — their sequence of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs — and should be able to access them should they want to.  This has been our guiding principle since day one, and 23andMe has pioneered the ability for individuals to have unfettered access to their genomes.

We recognize that patents are complicated and can be controversial. Patents were created to protect innovation. Is discovering the function of a gene an innovation?  The question of whether innovations related to genetics can be patented is in hot debate as evidenced by recent rulings related to Prometheus and Myriad patents.

We want to emphasize that we are firm in our belief that individuals should have access to their own genetic data. We will continue to pursue patents that we believe will eventually benefit us all. The majority of our customers have opted to participate in research. Thanks to that community, we have been able to make an incredible number of novel discoveries. We want those discoveries to move from the realm of academic publishing to the world of impacting lives by preventing, treating or curing disease.

Addendum — June 1, 2012:

The patent announcement has generated a lot of discussion. In addition to reiterating our core beliefs I’d like to clarify a few points about our perspective:

23andMe will not prevent others from accessing their genetic data or its interpretation specific to our patents. Other entities can present information about the genetic associations covered in our patents without licensing fees. As has always been the case, 23andMe customers can freely apply their raw genetic data to other interpretation tools whenever they wish.

23andMe is a business with a mission to improve lives. We sell a service to our customers and we conduct research, on our own and with partners, that we believe will lead to better treatments, diagnostics, and prevention of disease. We aim for these discoveries to benefit everyone.

Patents give organizations researching and developing new drugs confidence that their significant investments will be commercially viable. Developing new drugs and treatments costs time and money. A lot of time and money. Often the only way a company will even think about pursuing a drug lead is if they have assurance that they can recoup their investment. Having patent protection over the entire line of discovery gives a company confidence to invest in this resource-intensive process.

Many of you, especially in the Parkinson’s community, saw this as a major milestone and the first step in potentially having a meaningful impact on the lives of Parkinson’s patients. Our ultimate goal is to make discoveries that will benefit everyone.






  • Arturo

    It is not clear to me how patents on a discovery can benefit the movement of discoveries from the realm of academic publishing to the real world of medical practice. Also I am not sure how patents of this kind might be enforced.

    I would really appreciate further explanation on these two issues. If this is not the case, I will seriously consider removing my 23andme account & support.

  • http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/ Maju

    Can you even patent a gene? A gene that you have discovered in human beings? I do not think so.

    You can copyright the study and that’s all.

    • Felix

      Actually, you CAN patent genes in the US, even human genes. It’s been done before in NY and Boston I think. It is, of course, a controversial idea.

  • Tom

    Congratulations. This is a mission statement from a company that I can accept as beneficial to society. As The song states in Every breath you take from Sting and the Police. I’ll be watching you 23andme and your discoveries and what occurs from those discoveries and now maybe the world as well.

  • Sean

    When will you be announcing which allele is protective, and with what kind of odds ratio?

  • 23andMe

    Arturo, Thank you for your comment. We intend to pursue the patent because we believe this is the best, and, at the moment, the only way forward for the development of a drug to help patients with Parkinson’s. We will not prevent individuals from getting access to information or prevent researchers from researching the target.

  • Paul

    I share Arturo’s concerns. Let me put the question in this way: will you provide the patented gene knowledge to pharmaceutical companies without charge?

  • Carl Lumma

    I don’t think you’ve answered Artuo’s question. The article says, “the patent will be important for a biotech or pharmaceutical company to pursue drug development”, but this is unlikely to mean much to someone who doesn’t already understand the crazy world of drug development. Specifically, you’re missing the bit about how much money it costs to bring a drug to market, and how patents allow companies to leverage future sales in order to fund these efforts. Even so, questions remain (we presume you are seeking licensees? how will this affect the work at Scripps / Fox Foundation?).

    As for your comment that you “will not prevent individuals from getting access to information or prevent researchers from researching the target”… if this is the case, 23andMe should make a formal statement detailing how this will be achieved (how prospective licensees view such a restriction?).

    -Carl

  • http://bobbykelly.tel Bobby Kelly

    Will you post the details of the patent when it is issued?

    Are highly restrictive patents going to be the approach moving forward for all discoveries made with the 23andme crowd sourced data?

    Patents certainly protect 23andme and their drug industry partners. Without them, there would not be enough incentive to move forward from research to development.

    Will 23andme ever protect discoveries with public licenses (similar to software industry)?

    Can you share some more information about drug patents?
    When does the patent expire?
    20 years?

    “Is discovering the function of a gene an innovation?”
    Does 23andme participate in political patent reform activities?

  • Jerry

    You often report the mutation location referring to an “rs” locus. What is the rs locus for the LRRK2 G2019S mutation?

  • Sean

    “The GWAS was conducted in 60 people over the age of 50 who carried the LRRK2 G2019S mutation.” That’s pretty small…

    “While this association wasn’t significant genome-wide, it was the most significant among all the SNPs tested. ”

    Exactly.

  • http://www.daveenjoys.com/ Dave Mackey

    I’m not as concerned about 23andMe securing a patent as how 23andMe utilizes the patent down the road. Personally, I don’t think discovering the function of a gene is an innovation and thus should not be patentable…but I understand that under the current system patenting makes sense…but will these patents be used offensively or defensively? Will the prices of treatment increase b/c a single pharmaceutical company is eventually granted rights to create treatments based on this discovery? If so – then I’m not a fan.

  • Jim

    I think 23andme is going to have to work a lot harder to sell this as a positive to the PD community. Some flawed logic, I think. Better to just admit that it’s profit-driven?

  • http://genevalues.wordpress.com/ Stuart Hogarth

    Dear Anne
    As you acknowledge in your post, gene patenting is not without controversy. Certainly my experience suggests that this is an issue which attracts much attention – I blogged on your patent application way back in January and that post remains by far and away the most visited page on the Gene Values site (see http://genevalues.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/patently-unclear-23andmes-position-on-dna-patenting/)
    The first comment on your post (from Arturo) clearly illustrates that your customer base may not be happy about your decision to file for this patent. In response you state that the patent was filed in order to facilitate work on a treatment for Parkinson’s and that 23andme “will not prevent individuals from getting access to information or prevent researchers from researching the target.” However, your patent application was wider than therapeutic applications covering risk prediction, diagnosis and prognosis. I have a number of questions:
    1) If your intent was only to support therapeutic R&D then why does the patent cover diagnostic applications?
    2) Will you try to prevent other companies selling Parkinson’s Disease tests for these polymorphisms, or, will you seek license fees from other companies selling Parkinson’s Disease tests for these polymorphisms?
    3) Given your company’s avowed mission to “democratise genomics”, what were the participants in the Parkinson’s Disease study told about the intended commercial exploitation of discoveries arising from the study, and did you ask them what their preferences were?
    4) Given the controversy surrounding gene patenting why have you not invited discussion and debate on this issue?
    If, as you frequently avow, 23andme wants to “democratise genomics”, then this is the kind of issue on which you should be seeking feedback from your customers and the broader polity. It’s not a very sophisticated definition, but my understanding of what a democracy should be is a system where everyone has their say, and where what they say counts for something. Trying to reconcile that with a corporate system of decision-making may prove as challenging as trying develop a sustainable business model for consumer genomics but if you really want to democratise genomics (rather than just commodifying it), then that is the task you face.
    Best wishes
    Stuart Hogarth

  • AlexH

    You see that patents should not obstruct research, this is fair enough, however researchers looking at SGK1 function will be producing knowledge that will be exploited by your patent.

    Will any money raised by your patent go to these researchers? It seems the ethics of one company profiting from the knowledge of others because it patented a gene variant could do with some scrutiny, especially if it turns out that patients, who provided samples for the original research, were not made aware that the results would be patented.

    Further to this, it is uncertain whether the patenting of naturally occurring genetic sequences is permissible in other jurisdictions, such as the EU. It would be important to clarify if any proposed restrictions on the use of your SGK1 variant could be applied outwith the USA. The longterm use of USA specific patents could prove detrimental to healthcare in the USA as they may block the use of treatments developed elsewhere where the patent does not apply.

  • http://ecodevoevo.blogspot.com/ Holly Dunsworth

    Hi 23andMe,

    When we agreed to the terms of service and then when some of us consented to participate in research, were we consenting to that research being used to patent genes? What’s the language that covers that use of our data? I can’t find it.

    I’m asking because I had assumed that 23andMe was against patenting genes and felt in total cahoots all along with you guys. If I’d known you might go that route with my data, I’m not sure I would have answered any surveys.

    Thanks,
    Holly

  • Alan Bauerschmidt

    Are you saying that no pharmaceutical company will develop a drug specific to a particular disease unless the nature of the discovered gene linked to the disease is patented? What most of us are concerned about is the notion that a gene that is part of our very nature can be taken possession of by anyone who makes a claim of discovery. What is particularly disturbing is that the discovery was facilitated by our participation in the discovery.

    I won’t even touch on the issue of royalties springing from the patent.

    You need to make a much more lucid argument to gain our continued participation. I realize that ultimately this issue will come before the Supreme Court; meanwhile, 23andMe is in a most awkward position.

  • Paco

    Patenting to protect free access can be accomplished by a patent office publication without obtaining a patent. A patent is designed to obtain a monopoly for an invention for economic exploitation and repayment of R&D for bringing the innovation to market. If the innovation is a drug, the proper form of protection seems to me to be patenting the drug itself. I would love to see more new drugs for such diseases based in genetic information and protected by the patenting of the drug to compensate for the long and expensive enterprise to bring the drug to the market. When genetic markers are patented it seems to me that the intent is to monopolize the use of the marker in genetics diagnostics. It is worrisome how much easier is to develop and patent genetic markers (it happens in just a few years and with much less cost) than drugs (where the investment reaches up to a billion and takes ~10 years), yet this patents inhibit others to offer the same test in benefit of patients (cf. the work of Mildred Cho at Stanford). What happens when we all get our genome sequence – do we need to pay Miriad and now 23andMe to interpret our genomes? May be so, or not, but I think 23andMe needs to come clean and say that their enterprise is a business, it is funded to eventually make money (it is not a non-profit) and reward its investors, management, and employees, and that the subscription model is not enough for this, but other sources such as patenting, and selling access to their database to Pharma companies wishing to find patients for clinical trials are necessary. It doesn’t mean that I will remove my account, I understand these needs, but everyone coming to their service, either by paying it or by funded invitation (e.g. Patient groups like the Alzheimer’s patients), need to know clearly what this is about and make their own informed decision to join or not.

  • http://www.michaelwosnick.com/blog Michael Wosnick

    Although I have not posted on my own Cancer Research blog (http://www.michaelwosnick.com/blog) about gene patenting per se, I have a number of posts related to personalized medicine, the promise (and reality check) of the genomics era, and the ethical and societal concerns that I feel we, as a society have not nearly well enough debated and discussed even though this tsunami of technological advancement is well upon us.

    Certainly the areas of right to know vs. need to know, insurability, privacy and confidentiality all come to the fore, and the gene patenting issue both suffuses and overarches all of these.

    All of that said, I am going to let my bias clearly show through, but I felt a certain smugness and a lot of self-interest come through in this announcement. I first learned of 23andMe on the PBS special on genomics that aired a few weeks ago and I felt the same thing then watching the CEO be interviewed. Although she said, and says, most of the “right” things, I just can’t help but feel that this proclamation of individual rights to know thine own genome is merely a thinly veiled smokescreen for the pursuit of profits. Not that there is anything wrong with profits, and not that there is anything inherently wrong in using the DTC gene sequencing business model, but at least call the spade what it is.

    All of this talk about gene patenting as being the ‘high road’ taken for patient and consumer benefit just does not ring true to me, and seems at the very least to be very disingenuous.

  • twri

    23andMe is mining user information similar to how Facebook mines user data.Some users complain and drop out but most continue to use the service as it provides value.

    If 23andMe actively helps find a cure to Parkinson’s (and makes money in the process), it is all well. But, if the patent is used to just hinder others, that is a problem.

    23andMe founders have a big stake in a successful outcome, so it is probably the former.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-11/google-s-brin-makes-strides-in-hunt-for-parkinson-s-cure-health.html

    Also wish 23andMe comes up with a better business model than being a rebill service for health
    http://www.simplerna.com/2012/04/rebill-services-for-health-23andme.html

  • 23andMe

    Many of the questions asked so far are about what 23andMe intends to do in the future. The best way we can respond to these questions is to reaffirm the core beliefs that drive how our business is run. These core beliefs have been in place since the beginning and will not change.

    • We believe that people should have unfettered access to their own genetic data.
    • We believe that patents should not be used to obstruct research or prevent people from accessing their own genetic information.
    • We believe in being as open as possible about our intentions, including letting people know about our patent and why we have filed it.
    • We believe our research model offers tremendous potential for discoveries and improving people’s lives.
    • We also believe open dialogue about complicated issues like patents is important.

    We know that patents can be controversial and that some of you may simply disagree with the approach we’ve taken. We encourage the discussion to continue here on this post and elsewhere.

    We believe that our patent is the best way to ensure that this discovery translates into new treatments. If our continued research on SGK1 offers promise, the patent may be crucial for a pharmaceutical company to take the next step and begin drug development.

  • 23andMe

    Alan,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Bringing a new treatment to market generally takes more than ten years and costs more than $1 billion (http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v9/n3/full/nrd3078.html). Due to the time and expense required to develop a drug, pharmaceutical companies typically only invest in developing treatments that are based on patentable findings.

  • 23andMe

    Holly, Thank you for your question and for participating in our research. We make reference to our intent to pursue intellectual property rights for discoveries made from our research in both Terms of Service (sections 13 and 22) and in our research Consent document (sections 3 and 5).
    We believe that everyone has a right to know their genetic information and should be able to access it should they want to. This has been a guiding principle for the company from day one, and 23andMe has pioneered giving people unfettered to their genetic data.
    23andMe is dedicated to ensuring that our genetic discoveries (patented or not) fuel research and individuals’ understanding of their own genome.

  • 23andMe

    Jerry,
    The SNP ID for the LRRK2 G2019S mutation is rs34637584. You can find more information about this variant in the Parkinson’s Disease Established Research report (https://www.23andme.com/you/journal/parkinson/).

  • 23andMe

    Bobby,
    It is US Patent # 8,187,811 “Polymorphisms associated with Parkinson’s disease”

  • http://none Marvin Feldman

    B-R-A-V-O!! Keep it going. Patent, make sure the chosen pharmaceutical company shares all royalties with 23Me. Most of us understand what you do cost money and are therefore entitled to participate in your research. Go for it. Nuts to the naysayers.
    Best. Marvin Feldman. marvinfeldman@att.net.mx

  • AlexH

    Marvin Feldman, it is not so simple. Pharmaceutical companies won’t make money until they have a product, and making a product requires the accumulation of a great deal of knowledge from many different sources, including 23andMe. A concern is that this patent will hinder the accumulation of this knowledge and this is not allayed by a statement of belief from 23andMe.

    As a researcher in PD, and not one who receives money from 23andMe, or its partners, would I find restrictions placed on research I may want to do on SGK1? Could I even be restricted – I am based in the EU, and typically gene patents of naturally occurring variants are not valid? Would EU researchers thus have an advantage over those in the USA? The same question applies to pharma co’s.

    I imagine 23andMe have looked at these questions when considering taking out a patent. It is important to know what they concluded.

  • Chris W.

    I support 23andMe’s efforts to protect their intellectual property & to translate that IP into something useful in the patient population. Totally.

    However, I do hope that if a diagnostic is developed, PD patients will still be able to obtain second opinions without violating the 23andMe patent (see Myriad case).

  • http://www.arsbiologica.org Ars Biologica

    I am not sure that pursuing a patent is the right step forward. In the explanations given, there is mostly tautological statements about how 23andMe believes everyone should have access to their own data. Fine, but as AlexH has noted, it isn’t strongly convincing that a patent would not hurt the progress of research in the international community. Academic publication, in my opinion (as an academic myself) is the best way forward or in combination with, perhaps a filing with the FDA’s 504(b)2, etc. There are other ways to protect IP and findings. I would appreciate seeing the alternatives and the logic behind choosing to pursue a patent.

    By the way, I am a 23andMe subscriber (nickname: Tim Merritt) and it feels good to know that we can, in some small way, contribute to good research. The patent pursuit, however, makes me feel uncomfortable.

  • Mkay

    I would not have talked my mother and others in my support group into participating if I had understood this was going to be a profit driven enterprise. I believe 23andMe has been disingenuous in gathering a free database. You have no more right to genetic information than anyone else on this list much less anyone else on the planet.

  • http://www.madprime.org Madeleine Ball

    I wrote a blog post upon seeing this, on my personal blog:
    http://www.madprime.org/articles/2012/05/29/23andmes-first-patent

    I would also like to note that while I am a staff member of the Personal Genome Project, that post was entirely my personal thoughts and not meant to reflect PGP policies.

    As someone who wishes to promote freely available methods for variant & genome interpretation, I found the exact wording of the assurances provided here troubling. “Unfettered access to one’s genetic data” is a wonderful goal and part of what I appreciate with 23andme. However, as my post notes, I believe providing access to that data should mean access to the *meaning* of the data, not simply the sequence of A’s, C’s, G’s, and T’s — these sequences are a completely unintelligible mess to the vast majority of humanity.

    In the software industry, some companies have made policies promising to limit the enforcement of patents they acquire. These statements can mean a company can simultaneously hold patents it feels are legally important for their industry, while making an ethical statement critical of that patent landscape. See, for example, Red Hat: http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html and Twitter: http://blog.twitter.com/2012/04/introducing-innovators-patent-agreement.html 23andme might want to consider making such an official promise.

  • http://www.galindogroup.com Ram Galindo

    You all just be glad that patent law can be applied to genetics. Without it there will be no progress. Way to go 23 and me.

  • http://23andme.com 23andMe

    Thank you for all your comments. Some clarifications have been added to the end of the post above.

  • http://www.madprime.org Madeleine Ball

    Great to hear this clarification — you’ve allayed my concerns: “Other entities can present information about the genetic associations covered in our patents without licensing fees.” Thank you!

  • Dan

    23andMe writes: “Other entities can present information about the genetic associations covered in our patents without licensing fees.”

    Sure. But only 23andMe and its licensees may lawfully generate that information in the first place.

    Specifically, without a license those other entities may NOT lawfully perform the “method for screening a human subject for susceptibility to Parkinson’s Disease (PD)” by:
    (1) obtaining a nucleic acid sample from the human subject,
    (2) determining which allele is present [at a particular chromosomal position] and then
    (3) identifying the human subject as having an increased risk of developing PD if the subject has a T at [that position].

    Nor can those other entities generate “a prognosis of a human subject’s susceptibility to” Parkinson’s Disease by
    (1) doing the above,
    (2) “storing the determined allele of the sample in a database that includes a set of information related to” the subject person,
    (3) correlating that allele with an association between the various alleles that can appear at that chromosomal position with its susceptibility to PD in the database,
    (4) generating a prognosis of the subject’s susceptibility to PD based on the correlation, and
    (5) communicating the prognosis of susceptibility to a medical practitioner.

    If either or both of these methods are patentable in light of Mayo v. Prometheus then good for 23andMe. But it ought to be more honest about the consequences of its decision to acquire patent protection. The entire point of a patent is to EXCLUDE others from doing or selling whatever is claimed. In this case, it is the method 23andMe has described to predict if a person is susceptible to Parkinsons.

  • http://twitter.com/FundMyMR FundMyMedicalResearch

    This is a very unfortunate move!

    First for the intellectual part:

    - I’m on the position that patents destroy wealth for the community by allowing extortion for a couple of rent seekers. It is no longer an efficient way to finance innovation (if it ever has). So I can only see your economical explanation has wrong thinking about social benefits
    - patenting the human genes is even more devious than the patent system was for promoting human well being (it is certainly very efficient for extracting even more economic rents)

    Then on the moral ground:
    - stating that “it is written in sections 13 & 22 and sections 3 & 5 that people signed” is not close to a decent answer to people you asked for partnering with you to advance research on PD
    - a company can be for profit or for social profit. You have the right to choose any form you like for your company, but please make it clear. If you choose to be for profit only, I don’t think you used the right messaging to call for participation of people who are trying to increase the human knowledge for the benefit of all sufferers. What you did resemble too much to the hold up situation that economists talk about. And remember you can only play it once. Trust is not something you can reclaim easily.

  • A Longtime Customer

    This is simply crowd-sourced greed.

    As a longtime 23andme customer, this patent is extremely disappointing and alarming. Our family is done with your service.

  • http://genevalues.wordpress.com/ Stuart Hogarth

    Further to your responses, can I just follow up on the point made by Dan? You state that
    “23andMe will not prevent others from accessing their genetic data or its interpretation specific to our patents. Other entities can present information about the genetic associations covered in our patents without licensing fees. As has always been the case, 23andMe customers can freely apply their raw genetic data to other interpretation tools whenever they wish.”
    This statement does not address the second question from my original comment:

    “Will you try to prevent other companies selling Parkinson’s Disease tests for these polymorphisms, or, will you seek license fees from other companies selling Parkinson’s Disease tests for these polymorphisms?”

    Since you have not addressed this question, I am presuming that you have not yet ruled out either of these two courses of action. Some clarity on this point and your thinking around this issue would be very welcome. For instance, your main justification for the patent is that it costs a great deal of money to develop a therapeutic – I can see little evidence that such major investment has been required to discover the gene-disease association which underpins your diagnostic patent.

  • Eve Fintner

    I’m not clear why they’re saying this patent, as actually approved, has anything to do with SGK1. I’ve checked every SNP mentioned in the “claim” section of the approved patent (http://www.freepatentsonline.com/8187811.html) and according to SNPedia, none of them are in SGK1.

    There WAS a SGK1 SNP mentioned in the “claim” section of the original application , namely rs11755699. But the patent office removed it from the approved “claim” section of the patent. (See http://www.genomicslawreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/pdf-04-23andMe-Comparison-of-Claims-Patent-Application-to-Issued1.pdf)

    rs11755699 is still mentioned in the “study design and statistical analysis” section of the approved patent, however. I don’t know whether the patent office rules on what’s in the “study design and statistical analysis” section, or whether it’s just considered background info. Anyway, I presume rs11755699 is what all the glowing press releases are about. Here’s what the patent says about it:

    “E. LRKK2 modifying SNP rs11755699 (SEQ ID NO: 9). The LRRK2 G2019S mutation (rs34637584) is known to raise an individual’s risk of developing PD by over 20-fold (Healy et al. (2008) Phenotype, genotype, and worldwide genetic penetrance of LRRK2-associated Parkinson’s disease: a case-control study, Lancet Neurol. 7(7):583-590). Applicants conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using a population of individuals identified as carriers of this mutation in the 23andMe database in order to find potential genetic modifiers (23andMe, Mountain View, Calif. 94040).

    The GWAS was conducted in 60 people over the age of 50 who carried the LRRK2 G2019S mutation. Although by typical standards this may appear to be a small set in terms of a population size for a GWAS, the cohort represents one of the largest collections of G2019S positive people in the world, as the G2019S mutation is quite rare. The most significant association found in this analysis was the mutation rs11755699 (SEQ ID NO: 9), which lies in an intron of SGK1. It had a p-value (using Fisher’s exact test) of under 10^-5.5, and an odds ratio of over 42 for not developing PD if one carried the C allele (T being the more common allele). Of the 20 people with G2019S and without PD, 10 of them had the C allele, as compared to the 0 or 1 that would be expected.

    While this association wasn’t significant genome-wide, it was the most significant among all the SNPs tested. Furthermore, rs11755699 (SEQ ID NO: 9) is intronic in SGK1 gene which is known to be associated with cell survival in neurodegenerative diseases such as PD (Stichel et al. (2005) Sgk1, a member of an RNA cluster associated with cell death in a model of Parkinson’s disease, Eur J. Neurosci. 21(2):301-316; and Schoenebeck et al. (2005) Sgk1, a cell survival response in neurodegenerative diseases, Mol Cell Neurosci. 30(2):249-264.”

    To be fair, I’ll add that rs11755699 also appears in some tables; I don’t know how much legal significance they have. I do however find it hilarious that rs11755699 is misspelled a number of times in the tables.

  • Walter

    So where is all this discussion I was told about? Why am I the only comment?

  • Marie

    How has this patent been affected by the overturning of Myriad’s patent on BRCA1/2?

  • Rebecca Knight

    As a physician, I find it interesting that I now have to give patients access to their labs and test results without the benefit of my interpretation in order to meet the Obamacare requirements for Meaningful Use but the FDA is concerned about patients having access to these “labs”. There are no tests that are 100% accurate so any test that would lead to big life decisions should be discussed with a doctor first and probably retested and perhaps even a second opinion. I also have patients do “Lifeline screening” tests at mobile units and get results that scare them and since it’s a screening only test we have to repeat them to see if they’re valid.
    As long as I could access my patients test results and information about the sensitivity and specificity, I think this test could be helpful. I’m not necessarily against patients having access to their testing either, I just think then that the FDA’s issues seem hypocritical when Obamacare wants patients to have access to test results without interpretation. I also feel that education is essential and the more people understand about health that the more involved with their healthcare they will be. Many people are concerned about decisions that could be made based on fear and I hope that the both the FDA and 23andme will see that the answer is better education and transparency. If I can’t find the ingredients of an over the counter supplement then I tell patients that I would avoid it. Likewise, if I can’t find out the accuracy of a test, I would not order it.

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