LunaDNA’s first-of-its-kind platform giving shares for contributing DNA data got approval earlier this week from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Solana Beach-based Luna doesn’t do genetic testing, but built what it calls a community-owned health and DNA portal, now live at LunaDNA.com. It’s a departure from companies like 23andMe, which make money by selling users’ anonymous genetic information but don’t pay them.
Researchers from nonprofits, for-profits and other organizations can post queries on the portal, and individuals have the option of contributing de-identified data. Profits from researchers’ efforts would flow to shareholders in the form of dividends.
As an idea of what data’s worth, Luna estimates that a person’s whole genome would initially fetch $21, or 300 shares, according to SEC filings. That's anticipated to increase, Luna says.
“Holders of shares can increase their holdings over time by contributing more data, and intrinsic value in the database is created as research advances and medical discoveries are accelerated,” said the company in a press release.
Data can be uploaded from services like 23andMe, AncestryDNA and MyHeritage – and deleted, according to the company, which says it wants greater data transparency and to shatter data silos.
Luna, organized as a public benefit corporation as LunaPBC, is among the startups in San Diego helmed by ex-Illumina executives. Check out this San Diego Business Journal article for more.