Genetic-Testing Startup 23andMe Seeks to Raise $150 Million

23andMe Inc., the genetic-testing startup that popularized a $99 DNA spit test, is seeking to raise $150 million as the company moves into developing its own drugs.

So far, the Silicon Valley company has raised $79 million in the funding round, according to a July 2 regulatory filing. The company declined to comment on what the money would be used for or who has invested.

23andMe said in March it would expand from screening people for diseases to doing research and early-stage drug discovery, finding new targets for medicines from its vast database of consumers’ genetic and health information.

Named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in human cells, the startup is recovering after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruling in late 2013 left the company unable to sell health analyses from its saliva tests, hurting sales. Since then the closely held company has started submitting tests to the agency and has gained approval for its first screening kit, which focuses on a rare genetic disorder called Bloom syndrome.

23andMe has genotyped 1 million people worldwide, of which about 80 percent have consented to let their data be used for research, according to a company statement last month.

The company, based in Mountain View, California, said in March it had raised about $126 million thus far. Its investors include Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, Google Ventures and New Enterprise Associates.

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