23andMe has partnered with Finland-based biomarker testing and risk prediction company Nightingale Health to trial a blood metabolomics panel with a cohort of its premium members.

The companies will offer 5,000 of 23andMe’s premium members a chance to receive blood testing through Nightingale’s Remote Health Check. The pilot will evaluate customers’ feedback on the blood panel services, at-home sample collection, and the utility of the data when combined with 23andMe’s genetics channels.

The Nightingale’s blood panel can test different biomarkers, including cholesterols, apolipoproteins and fatty acids such as Omega-3. The results can then be used to inform the presence of diseases and lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise. The blood test results could also be used to improve the accuracy of the lifetime risk of disease prediction technology offered by 23andMe as part of its annual membership.

Genetic testing is a growing area of research. There are more than 500 devices in active development for genetic testing, as per GlobalData analysis. Of these, 279 are in the late stages of development, with GlobalData predicting these tests will gain approval within the next decade. The majority of genetic testing is focused on identifying the genetic disposition for cancer.

In September 2023, 23andMe received 510(k) clearance from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to include an additional 41 variants of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes as part of its BRCA1/BRCA2 (Selected Variants) Genetic Health Risk Report. The agency also granted the company the first-ever Predetermined Change Control Plan (PCCP), which outlines the protocols and acceptance criteria to validate BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants.

In July 2023, Quest Diagnostics launched its first consumer-focused genetic test, Genetic Insights. The test examines 36 genes using a saliva sample and can analyse the potential risk of up to 24 genetically inheritable conditions, including breast and colon cancer, heart and blood disorders and carrier status for cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia, and Tay-Sachs disease. 

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Another company that offers genetic testing to identify genetic predisposition for multiple cancers is InVitae. The company’s Common Hereditary Cancers Panel analyses 47 genes associated with cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, prostate, and gastrointestinal system. It can also help individuals with already-diagnosed cancer by identifying potentially cancer-associated hereditary variants.