Personal genetics company 23andMe has completed its first acquisition with the purchase of CureTogether, launched in 2008 to help people who live in daily chronic pain.
The addition of CureTogether provides technology and talent that will improve 23andMe's ability to gather data for research while also providing customers with engaging and meaningful interactions in 23andMe's online community. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"A driving force for the acquisition is the alignment of core values we share with CureTogether," said Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe. "It underscores 23andMe's commitment to helping individuals understand their own genetic information through proven DNA analysis technologies and web-based interactive tools; and generating patient-driven, informed-consent research as well as empowering our customers to use their personal genetic information to find connections and establish communities based on their DNA."
The personal genome services offered by 23andMe enable individuals to explore their own DNA and currently provide more than 200 health and traits reports as well as genetic ancestry information. The company's customer communities currently cover a wide range of topics from relative finder matches provided through the company's ancestry analysis, to disease-specific research communities such as Parkinson's Disease, sarcoma, myleoproliferative neoplasms and the ‘roots into the future’ research community for African Americans.
CureTogether brings to 23andMe additional tools and systems for gathering data from health-based communities that are complementary to the existing 23andMe platforms, allowing customers to share quantitative information on more than 500 medical conditions, talk about sensitive symptoms and compare which treatments work best for them as they track their health. CureTogether's platform includes more than 4 million phenotypic data points across those different health conditions that could help inform future genetic discoveries.
"There are tremendous opportunities for our members and for future research by integrating the 23andMe and the CureTogether platforms and phenotypic data," explained Daniel Reda, co-founder of CureTogether and new senior product manager at 23andMe.
Alexandra Carmichael, co-founded of CureTogether, added, "We encourage our CureTogether members to join us in the 23andMe community to help accelerate research discoveries enabled by this unprecedented compilation of community-contributed genetic and phenotypic data."
By completing online surveys, customers can contribute directly to genetic research that can potentially lead to better understanding of and new treatments for a variety of health conditions.