Australian genomics company myDNA has merged with U.S.-based consumer DNA test developer FamilyTreeDNA and its parent Gene by Gene, combining the personalized genomics pioneers.
The companies said their merger—whose value and other financial terms were not disclosed—reflected a shared belief about the potential for personalized genetic information to provide a scientific foundation for actionable, personalized insights that can guide how users care for themselves and maintain optimal health and wellness, physically and mentally.
myDNA and Gene by Gene said the combined companies would be a leading global provider of genealogy, pharmacogenomics, and nutrigenomic services.
“It’s thanks to pioneering brands like Gene by Gene and FamilyTreeDNA that consumers see the value in safely and securely exchanging genetic information for personalized services,” myDNA CEO Lior Rauchberger, M.D., said yesterday in a statement. “The Personalized Wellness revolution is only just beginning and we’re eager to be able to offer FamilyTreeDNA and myDNA members a box seat to a wider range of services thanks to the merging of these fantastic businesses.”
Rauchberger will serve as CEO of the merged companies, effective immediately, while Gene by Gene co-founders Bennett Greenspan and Max Blankfeld will join the combined company’s Board of Directors.
FamilyTreeDNA, launched in 2000, was the first U.S. company to offer direct-to-consumer DNA testing for genealogical research. The early provider of direct-to-consumer genetic genealogy services is one of four divisions of Gene by Gene, which offers genetic testing services to consumers and institutional customers through divisions focusing on ancestry as well as health, research, and paternity.
Gene by Gene is CAP/CLIA registered, and offers health, wellness, and regulated diagnostic testing services through its clinical health division. The privately-held company and its Genomics Research Center are headquartered in Houston.
myDNA was founded in 2007 by Associate Professor Les Sheffield, the first Australian to qualify as a clinical geneticist in 1976. At the Royal Women’s and Children’s Hospitals, he specialized in genetic tests and oversaw the introduction of Down’s syndrome screening for pregnant women.
myDNA launched with the ambitious goals of revolutionizing pharmacogenomics and fulfilling the potential of personalized medicine before expanding into nutrigenomics to deliver actionable, personalized nutrition, fitness and skincare recommendations. The company’s tests are simple cheek-swabs that can be ordered online and carried out by users at home.
The merged company promised to maintain the commitment to privacy articulated by myDNA, FamilyTreeDNA and Gene by Gene