US regulators on Thursday granted Silicon Valley biotech firm 23andMe permission to become the first company to market reports showing customers’ health risks based on their genetics.
The first reports will be made available this month in the United States, indicating genetic propensities for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
“Consumers can now have direct access to certain genetic risk information,” said Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
“But it is important that people understand that genetic risk is just one piece of the bigger puzzle, it does not mean they will or won’t ultimately develop a disease.”
23andMe extracts genetic data from saliva samples sent in by customers.—AFP