Arming people with detailed information about their bodies, and the freedom to act on it.
The notion of a Silicon Valley unicorn that collects your genetic information makes some people reflexively nervous. But 23andMe cofounder and CEO Anne Wojcicki makes a strong case that her firm is about personal empowerment.
The startup won a milestone Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval this year: Now, 23andMe is allowed to sell its at-home DNA testing kits directly to consumers and provide them with detailed risk reports for a variety of conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease—with no prescription required. For Wojcicki, the technology extends to people the right to know as much as possible about their own bodies. She points out that a huge slice of 23andMe customers have made lifestyle changes based on what they learn from the company’s tests. Users can also choose to share their data to assist clinical drug research. 23andMe says it now has more than 2 million customers across the globe.
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