- 23andMe is slowly transitioning from superficial level genetic analysis targeted at consumers to drug discovery.
- They use Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS)
- They use “SNP Chips” to test for SNPs.
- Specifically, the Illumina Infinum Global Screening Array. research
- These are credit card-sized chips containing DNA probes which are complementary to known DNA sequences.
- SNPs are left exposed and can then be identified using fluorescent tags.
- Limitation: SNP Chips are targeted towards common mutations, not rare mutations which are often responsible for disease.
- Limitation: Limited to known mutations only.
- In 2014, they demonstrated a twofold increase in the chance that a drug would be approved by the FDA if 23andMe found a correlation between the targeted gene and disease. have-it-all
- 23andMe’s first drug candidates will most likely be antibodies.
- Antibodies are less complicated to produce than small molecule drugs (<500 daltons).
- Will require partial or full genome sequencing. have-it-all
- “[23andMe] intends to use SNPs to identify interesting regions of the genome, and then use sequencing to zoom in on those regions in certain patients.” have-it-all
- In 2013, the FDA found many of 23andMe’s medical tests to be illegal as they had not been vetted. have-it-all
- They collect ~2 million survey responses per week. have-it-all
- This is unusually responsive for voluntary survey responses.
- All survey responses are stripped of identifying information to protect privacy.
[research] @miscresearch, title = 23andMe Genotyping Services for Research, howpublished = \urlhttps://research.23andme.com/genotyping-services-research/, note = Accessed: 2020-03-02 ↩
[have-it-all] Servick, Can 23andMe have it all?, Science, 349(6255), 1472-1477 (2015). link. doi. ↩