Consumer genetics company 23andMe raises another $36M to close its $115M round

By Aditi Pai
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23andMeMail-order personal genetics service and research company 23andMe has completed a $115 million in a round led by Fidelity Management and Research Company with participation from  Casdin Capital, WuXi Healthcare Ventures, and Xfund, as well as existing investors Illumina, New Enterprise Associates, MPM Capital, and Google Ventures.

Part of this funding round was disclosed earlier this year when the company filed a $79 million raise in the SEC. 23andMe has raised a total of $241 million to date, a spokesperson from the company told MobiHealthNews.

“23andMe pioneered the personal genetics industry,” Andy Page, president of 23andMe said in a statement. “Our efforts to enable individuals to access, understand and benefit from the human genome have achieved a level of scale that will enable us to further advance genetic research and drug discovery around the world. This round of funding will enable us to further our vision for long term growth in our consumer and therapeutic businesses.” 

The company said it will use the funds, in part, to build a laboratory space for its therapeutic research and genome sequencing.

23andMe offers a mail-order personal genome service that sequences part of a person’s genome for as low as $99 in the UK, Canada and certain EU countries. The company first started selling this service in the US, but in November 2013, the FDA made 23andMe halt sales. In a public letter, the FDA made it clear that they would require clearance for each of the myriad genetic tests 23andMe performed on each partially sequenced genome, which created a serious impediment to 23andMe’s approach.

But since then. the company has expanded its service to other countries and just this year reached its initial goal to genotype one million people.

23andMe has also been reinventing itself as a research company. In March, the company created a therapeutics group led by former Genentech executive Richard Scheller. The group will use 23andMe’s database of consented, re-contactable subjects with sequenced genomes to develop new drugs. In May, the group announced its first major partnership, a 5,000-subject collaboration with Pfizer to study lupus.

A few months ago, 23andMe announced it had hired Dean Schorno as its chief financial officer and head of operations as the company gets ready to start selling health risk tests again. Schorno was most recently CFO of Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp.