Tuesday, February 17, 2009
A few people have been asking me these questions after my recent blog post. Andrew and Daniel (Two prolific bloggers in the personalized genomics space) are both asking these questions and rightly so.
1) Why did 23andMe take such a risk? They had a nice Novelty genetic testing game working (albeit flawed). Why risk by going into truly defined medical practice?
I think this move rests on 3 assumptions
A) Most people won't buy a dunkin' donut's coffee today as they cut back costs. Why spend 399 on a vanity bobble?
B) People pay for medical necessities still. So to sell tests, they can make it look like a medical need.
C) Most investors are looking to shorten their ROI time frame especially in this economy.
2) Why now? Why take the risk now? Aren't they risking their already set income stream by rocking the boat?
A) Have you seen the economy? The FDA isn't exactly priority number one in Washington now.
B) California is about to go bankrupt, I don't think CDPH will be focusing on these tests at this moment, leaving 23andME to force their way into medicine without being regulated.
C) If they don't make this move now, they may never have the chance again. Take a look, in 6 months the economy will be better. The FDA/CDC will have their joint Genomics department set up to police these measures AND WILL HAVE STIMULUS monies behind them to bring down the hammer...
So now is the perfect time to move...........The attention is on the Economy Stupid!!!!
The Sherpa Says: If the organized specialties such as ACMG, NSGC, ACP, CAP etc. move on this, they will be left with scratching their heads as to where their lab monies have gone? Let's face it, the clinical department is only kept around at these centers because of the profits which are brought in by the labs.....