Thursday, June 18, 2009

Conflict of Interest? Google invests another $2.6 million into 23andMe, a biotech startup founded by Mrs. Sergei Brin

Google invested $2.6 million in 23andMe, which was started in 2006 by Sergei Brin's wife, Anne Wojcicki, two years ago and has invested another $2.6 million.

Mountain View-based 23andMe analyzes people's DNA to detect potential health problems before they occur.

Brin, 35, discovered from a 23andMe scan that he carries a genetic mutation increasing his risk of developing Parkinson's. He used a sliver of his $12 billion fortune to personally invest $10 million in his wife's company. 23andMe provides genetic testing for over 100 traits and diseases as well as DNA ancestry.

23andMe is a privately held personal genomics and biotechnology company based in Mountain View, California that is developing new methods and technologies which can enable consumers to understand their own genetic information. In December 2007, three companies, 23andMe, Navigenics and deCODE, announced the availability of $999 to $2500 tests for genome-wide, select single nucleotide polymorphisms. 23andme dropped their price to $399 in Sep 2008. Coriell, a nonprofit, offers its service for free. Google has invested $3.9M in 23andMe, whose co-founder Anne Wojcicki is married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Genentech is also reported to have invested in 23andMe.


Anonymous said...

looks like it to me

KBWetters said...

If the money helps consumers better understand and prepare for their future health issues, so what, is that all bad? Is it bad business decision if he gained insight personally.Aren't we being a little judgemental perhaps? A large number of people could benefit from this investment in the long run and make the company a success to boot!