23andMe to use cash from going public to develop 2 cancer drugs

Direct-to-consumer DNA testing company 23andMe is spending the funds it raised during its recent public listing on the development of two cancer drugs, The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 30.

Five details:

  1. 23andMe went public in June via a merger agreement with VG Acquisition Corp., the acquisition arm of venture capital investment company Virgin Group. The transaction valued 23andMe at about $3.5 billion. 

  2. Through the transaction, 23andMe raised about $592 million in gross proceeds. The company had about $700 million in cash on hand as of Sept. 30, according to the Journal.

  3. In 2015, 23andMe launched a therapeutics division aiming to use its database of genetic information to develop new drugs. As of Sept. 30, the company's database had information from about 11.9 million consumers, according to the Journal.

  4. CFO Steve Schoch said 23andMe will use the money it raised from going public for drug development. The company is developing two cancer drugs.

  5. One of the drugs is being developed with GlaxoSmithKline and is undergoing clinical trials. Mr. Schoch said the second is expected to enter the clinical testing stage by the end of March. 

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