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23andMe CEO Stresses Medical Insights in Face of Slowing Enrollment


March 10, 2014 | Appearing at the SXSW Festival in Austin yesterday to deliver a keynote address, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki acknowledged that the recent FDA action prohibiting her company from reporting health information to customers “has slowed up the number of people signing up” for the personal genotyping service. Reflective of the company's long-standing ethos that genotyping customers is not a novelty product, but a path to revolutionizing the practice of medicine, Wojcicki's address did not back down from promoting the medical power of 23andMe's vision.

“23andMe set out to try and change healthcare,” said Wojcicki. “The principle is that genetic information is the basis for personalized medicine... Knowing your genetic health risks will help you make better decisions.” Wojcicki also shared that 23andMe currently has around 650,000 customers' genotypes on file, a database from which the company will continue to derive new research into human genetic health. A driving goal of the company over the past year has been to reach an inflection point in the number of customers genotyped, when the sheer volume of available data could dramatically accelerate new medical findings; Wojcicki herself has cited a figure of one million customers in this regard. The Guardian

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