There’s a lot going on in commercial DNA testing these days beyond what eye color you have or where your mitochondria comes from, and at-home lab testing startup EverlyWell hopes to cash in. The startup launched three new products today, based on your DNA to help get it there, including a food sensitivity test, DNA factors for your metabolism and breast milk DHA.
Food Sensitivity+ ($249): Measure sensitivity to foods and the impact DNA may have on the ability to digest certain foods and nutrients.
Metabolism+ ($149): Check current hormone levels and learn how DNA factors may affect weight through alterations in metabolism.
Breast Milk DHA+ ($89): Learn how much omega-3 DHA is in a woman’s breast milk and if DNA may affect your levels of DHA.
The new products came about through a partnership with Helix, a sort of B2B 23andMe aiming to be a one-stop marketplace for other companies’ genetics products. Customers only need to have their DNA sequenced once through Helix and EverlyWell can then pull from this data for any of its DNA-based tests.
It works by first purchasing one of the three DNA-based products on EverlyWell, then you will get two kits in the mail — one to collect a DNA sample and one to collect a biomarker sample. Once you’ve sent the kits back to EverlyWell, the startup will process the biomarker sample within five days. Those new to Helix will take longer (approximately 6-8 weeks) to process. However, those who’ve already filled out a Helix sample can get same-day results.
Now, you may be wondering if there might be some pushback from the FDA for these types of tests. After all, 23andMe met with much of the same when it first started doling out health information to customers. The company has since worked long and hard to get permission to give customers an update on their genetic risk for up to 10 diseases. However, it’s fair to ask if EverlyWell’s method of testing through Helix might hit some regulatory snags.
But that’s not a problem, says EverlyWell founder Julia Cheek, who says her products are considered laboratory-developed tests (LDTs). “These tests, like tens of thousands of other lab tests offered in the United States, do not require FDA approval. Helix’s lab, like our other partner labs, is CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited, and our tests are validated in accordance with the CLIA and CAP requirements,” she told TechCrunch.
The addition of these three new tests rounds out the startup’s offerings to now 16 tests in total, including for thyroid, fertility and other health measures.