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23andMe Expands Into Canada

The genetics testing service heads north.

23andMe Expands Into Canada
[Photo: Flickr user Shawn Harquail]
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While the Food and Drug Administration slowly mulls the legality of the low-cost genetics tests offered by 23andMe, the Mountain View-based startup is taking its services to a place where the FDA’s jurisdiction doesn’t apply. On Wednesday, the company announced that it was expanding into Canada, allowing anyone who wants it to send in small saliva samples to receive comprehensive DNA reports interpreting both their family ancestry and–unlike Americans–their genetic health risks.

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In an announcement, 23andMe said Canadians will be privy to “108 health-related reports,” including “genetic risk factors for various health conditions, drug response, trait reports, and inherited conditions.” Some 20,000 Canadians have already taken advantage of its services, which cost $199.

23andMe, which was founded by biologist Anne Wojcicki in 2006 (you can read our cover story about the company here), recently made inroads with American regulators. In June, the FDA accepted a single genetics-related health report, which will help establish legal parameters for forthcoming consumer products. “Once cleared, we expect this submission will provide 23andMe with a foundation to accelerate the process for future submissions,” a company representative told Fast Company at the time.

[h/t: CTV News]

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About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more

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