Navigenics, a new secretive Silicon Valley company, wants to let you access your genetic information, so you can see what sort of diseases or sicknesses you may be prone to. It has backing from high-profile venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital.
It joins another company, 23andMe, doing something very similar — each exploiting the abundance of information available about the human genome, so that regular people can find information about themselves that they’ve never had before.
David Hamilton, over at VentureBeat LifeSciences, has the scoop, and more details. The Redwood Shores company has just unveiled its Web site, offering only rudimentary information.
It will obtain your genetic information by sending you “saliva collection kit” —you’ll spit into a cup and mail it to the company — and it will send it back to you after scan it for your genetic details, and help you “navigate” through what ti means.
This comes at a time when Google is about to launch Google Health, a service that lets you track your personal health information online. Navigenics’ backers, Kleiner and Sequoia, are also the two firms that backed Google. Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr, who sits on Google’s board, also sits on Navigenics’ board. The Web of relationships is complex, itself worthy of a DNA anlysis :) Also sitting on Google’s board is Arthur D. Levinson, the chief executive of Genentech. Both Genentech and Google have invested in 23andMe. 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki is married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Health Evolution Partners, a private-equity fund, has also apparently invested in Navigenics.
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