According tomedia reports, 23andMe, which is known through genetic testing kits, has just announced that it is laying off 100 employees, or about 14 percent of the total. CNBC said Thursday that the main affected operations team. As one of the customers of Illumina, a provider of gene sequencing technology, 23andMe’s layoff also reflects the shrinking DNA kit market from the side.
(Pictured: 23andMe, via The Verge)
During a revenue conference last summer, Illumina confirmed that sales across the industry were falling. Genetic sequencing company Veritas Genetics cut its U.S. operations and laid off about 50 employees after trying to raise money.
Anne Wojcicki, chief executive of 23andMe, told CNBC that concerns about the downturn may be the main reason customers are no longer willing to pay for expensive genetic testing, and consumer privacy concerns are on the rise.
In recent years, genetic testing companies such as 23andMe have faced huge privacy controversies. Even in 2018, companies promise not to share data without consent.
However, advances in data analytics and the growing number of databases have raised concerns about genetic privacy.
In December, the Pentagon bluntly advised military personnel to avoid using DNA kits. The reason is unspecified security risks or put military operations at risk.