23andMe’s New Game Plan: What it Means for the Company and for DTC Genetic Testing

Crossing out Plan A and writing Plan B on a blackboard.Late Friday afternoon, direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing company 23andMe announced a change in its game plan. Currently, 23andMe offers a single product – a $399 genotyping service that provides customers access to information about their genetic ancestry as well as genetic variants linked to certain other traits and diseases, including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and certain cancers.

Beginning this Thursday, November 19th, that $399 service will be cut in two. Customers will have the option of purchasing a $399 “Ancestry Edition,” which includes 23andMe’s new “Relative Finder” tool or a $429 “Health Edition,” which includes testing for variants associated with genetic diseases and other traits, carrier status and drug response. The complete package will be $499. At Genetic Future, the indefatigable Daniel MacArthur has already covered 23andMe’s announcement and highlighted several of the most salient points.

Today, in three separate commentaries, I analyze 23andMe’s announcement and its implications for the DTC genetic testing industry: