23andMe will resume providing health data following FDA setback

Following the shutdown by the FDA, 23andMe is back in business and reportedly took advantage of its two-year hiatus.

Genetic testing company 23andMe announced Wednesday that it is launching a new consumer genetic test service that will indicate whether an individual carries genes associated with 36 different disorders, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease and beta thalassemia.

After the company had a setback when the FDA ordered it to halt disease risk reports (however, they were allowed to continue to sell ancestry reports), it’s now back on track. The hiatus seems to have given 23andMe some time to look at how its testing can be improved, and it also led to a price hike — went up to $199 from $99.

“Part of what we tried to do over the last two years is take advantage of being off the market to redesign the entire experience,” said Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and chief executive of 23andMe, according to The New York Times.

The $1.1 billion company, backed by Google, is selling data to Pfizer and Genentech to search for insights that could be useful in developing drugs. 23andMe also announced in May that it has decided to go into drug discovery and development itself. Richard Scheller, who headed research and early development at Genentech, will lead that effort.

Photo: Flickr user Scott Beale