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UPDATE: 23andMe Shuts Down Open API Access to Raw Data

DNA analysis graphic

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

26 August 2018. The business television network CNBC reports that personal genetics company 23andMe is closing down access to its raw genomic data for independent software developers. As reported by Science & Enterprise in 2012, 23andMe made available to outside systems developers the codes and routines needed to access its DNA analysis database.

CNBC says the company sent an e-mail to its registered developers that access to the raw data would close down in two weeks. The e-mail message, according to CNBC said, “We’re updating our API program to focus on apps that build on the interpretations and results we provide to our customers.” Developers can still receive reports generated by 23andMe and build applications based on those reports, but they no longer have access to the raw data.

23andMe told CNBC in a separate e-mail message, “Moving forward, we will only partner with developers building applications that leverage the data based on 23andMe reports,” adding, “Our hope is to bring added value to customers’ overall experience. We’re notifying existing developers and any impacted customers now in order to help them prepare for the changes to our program.”

Research partners of 23andMe will still access the company’s raw genomic data. The most recent of those partners is drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, or GSK, that in July signed a four-year agreement to find more precise drug targets and recruit clinical trial participants likely to respond to treatments. The deal includes GSK taking a $300 million equity stake in 23andMe, which becomes the pharma company’s exclusive partner on drug target discovery.

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