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23andMe says goodbye to 100 workers due to low demand for DNA testing

January 27, 2020

It is not the hot market that the company predicted.

2 min read

This story originally appeared on Engadget

23andMe says goodbye to 100 workers due to low demand for DNA testing23andMe says goodbye to 100 workers due to low demand for DNA testing

If you distrust DNA testing services, you are not the only one, and it is directly affecting one of the heavy weights in the field. The 23andMe team is laying off about 100 workers , or 14 percent of its total workforce, in view of declining sales. Job cuts will focus on the units responsible for the growth and expansion of the company. In the coming months, 23andMe hopes to reduce its work in clinical studies and focus more on its home tests and therapeutic offers.

The head of the company, Anne Wojcicki , did not offer definitive explanations about the reduction of sales in a conversation with CNBC , but speculated that privacy was “the most important thing” for customers and that this could have been a factor. Cases of unsolved crimes such as the Golden State Killer appear to have been solved using online DNA databases, but people fear that their sensitive genetic information will fall into the wrong hands. Wojcicki also suspected that fear of a recession in the United States could lead people to reduce unnecessary expenses, and a DNA test at home could easily be one of the first things that can be dispensed with.

The company is not the only one facing problems. Veritas Genetics closed its business in the United States at the end of 2019, while Illuminia warned that the entire market had been cut last summer after witnessing a drop in demand for its DNA sequencing machines. In that sense, 23andMe recognizes the reality that DNA testing is not as popular a market as it was in previous years.

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