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23andMe and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance Collaborate to Help Advance Colorectal Cancer Research in the Black Community

23andMe, Inc.
23andMe, Inc.

Study aims to fill research gap and empower people through access to information about their health

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 23andMe Holding Co. (Nasdaq: ME) (23andMe), a leading genetic health and biopharmaceutical company, and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (Alliance), the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to ending colorectal cancer, announced a collaboration to help advance research on colorectal cancer in the Black/African American community. The Genetic Insights into Colorectal Cancer in the Black Community Study is part of 23andMe’s continued efforts to raise awareness about important health conditions that touch many individuals but disproportionately impact the Black community. Through this study, 23andMe and the Alliance aim to recruit individuals who have African ancestry or identify as Black, African American, or of African descent who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, which includes colon cancer and cancer of the rectum.

How colorectal cancer impacts the Black community

In the United States, Black and African Americans tend to experience earlier onset and worse disease outcomes for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women in the Black community. Black Americans have the second-highest incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer in the U.S. They are 15% more likely to develop colorectal cancer and 35% more likely to die from it than non-Hispanic white Americans. Rates of early onset colorectal cancer in the Black community are also increasing. “At the Alliance, we empower people to better navigate colorectal cancer outcomes in their lives and communities,” said Angele Russell, Senior Director of Partnerships & Health Equity at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “This includes increasing awareness among young Black people who might not know their risk factors and providing resources aimed at early detection.”

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Addressing the research gap

23andMe offers reports, among which are those based on statistical models known as polygenic scores (PRS). The PRS reports are developed by 23andMe scientists and clinical experts using the company’s database of genetic and self-reported health information contributed by consented research participants. 23andMe prioritized colorectal cancer for additional research as it is one of the most common cancers but has effective screening and preventive lifestyle factors. However, the new colorectal cancer report is only available for those of European and Latino/Hispanic descent, as there is not yet enough data to provide a result for those of other ethnicities–a historical issue with genetic research and polygenic scores at large.

“Right now, there’s a gap in research on colorectal cancer in the Black community,” said Anjali Shastri, Ph.D., Principal Program Manager at 23andMe, Lead for diversity programs and advocacy partnerships for research. “We developed this study to help fill in the gap. Through this study, we hope to improve the polygenic score and our ability to inform Black and African Americans about how their genetics impact their chance of developing this condition.”

Michael Sapienza, Chief Executive Officer at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance said, “Through this collaboration with 23andMe, we want to educate the Black community about the importance of knowing their family history and risk factors to help prevent colorectal cancer or find it at early stage when it is most treatable.”

How this study can help further research

The Genetic Insights into Colorectal Cancer in the Black Community Study is recruiting Black and African American individuals who are 18 years or older, live in the United States, and have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

For those who would like additional information about how to participate in this research they can learn more on the study landing page. People who participate in this research study will have the option to access health reports through a 23andMe+ Premium membership at no cost.

Those who would like more information about this study can learn more here. Those interested in learning more about the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and how to get screened today can learn more here.

About 23andMe

23andMe is a genetics-led consumer healthcare and biopharmaceutical company empowering a healthier future. For more information, please visit www.23andMe.com.

About the Colorectal Cancer Alliance

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance empowers a nation of passionate and determined allies to prevent, treat, and overcome colorectal cancer in their lives and communities. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Alliance advocates for prevention, magnifies support, and accelerates research. We are the largest national nonprofit dedicated to colorectal cancer, and we exist to end this disease in our lifetime. For more information, visit www.colorectalcancer.org.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included or incorporated in this press release are forward-looking statements. The words "believes," "anticipates," "estimates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "may," "could," "should," "potential," "likely," "projects," “predicts,” "continue," "will," “schedule,” and "would" or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements are predictions based on 23andMe’s current expectations and projections about future events and various assumptions. 23andMe cannot guarantee that it will actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in its forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on 23andMe’s forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (many of which are beyond the control of 23andMe), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained herein are also subject generally to other risks and uncertainties that are described from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including under Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and as revised and updated by our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. The statements made herein are made as of the date of this press release and, except as may be required by law, 23andMe undertakes no obligation to update them, whether as a result of new information, developments, or otherwise.

Contacts

23andMe:
Media: press@23andMe.com
Investors: investors@23andMe.com

Colorectal Cancer Alliance:
Media: eblasi@CCAlliance.org