uBiome suspends clinical operations, refunds pending payments

Genomics startup uBiome announced that it is temporarily halting clinical operations and refunding any pending out-of-pocket payments in an email sent to customers on May 6, according to CNBC.

In the letter, the company wrote that it is suspending sales of its SmartGut and SmartJane tests, which analyze patients' gut and vaginal microbiomes, respectively, then provide physicians with a report from which diagnoses and other health advice can be drawn. Any requests or orders pertaining to these tests have been canceled, and any upfront out-of-pocket payments for them will be refunded.

"This does not mean we will not offer clinical products in the future, nor does this insinuate a lack of value or utility in our products," uBiome wrote, noting that its Explorer testing kit, which does not require a physician order, is still available.

The notice comes several days after the FBI conducted a raid of the startup's San Francisco headquarters regarding its billing practices. Since then, the California Department of Insurance, several insurers and uBiome itself have launched their own investigations and the company's co-founders have been placed on administrative leave.

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