The following press release was issued by MyHeritage today at the MyHeritage LIVE 2019 event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands:
TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah –Sep 7, 2019–
MyHeritage, the leading global discovery platform for exploring family history, uncovering ethnic origins, finding new relatives, and gaining health insights, announced today the acquisition of SNPedia and Promethease, through acquiring the company that owned and operated them, River Road Bio. This marks the 10th acquisition by MyHeritage and reinforces the company’s position as a global leader in consumer genomics.
SNPedia.com was launched in 2006 and is a wiki that contains a broad, community-curated knowledge base linking between genetic variants and medical conditions, as well as traits, citing over 30,000 peer-reviewed scientific publications. SNPedia is the primary encyclopedia and de facto go-to resource for information about genetic markers, and has evolved to cover 110,413 genetic variants. SNPedia operates under a Creative Commons license, wherein it is a free resource for academic and non-commercial use, with only MyHeritage having the right to utilize it commercially. MyHeritage plans to maintain SNPedia as a free resource under the same terms, and will utilize this comprehensive knowledge base to enhance future versions of MyHeritage’s DNA health products.
Promethease.com is a literature retrieval service. It allows consumers to upload their raw DNA data (from services such as Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and others) and automatically compare it to SNPedia to see relevant scientific findings regarding their genome. The Promethease service currently costs $12, and offers consumers the option to store their DNA data. Since its launch in 2008, Promethease has become one of the world’s most popular consumer health services by allowing customers to obtain information based on their unique genetic makeup. Following this announcement, MyHeritage is transforming Promethease into a free service, effective today, and this free promotion will run until the end of 2019. MyHeritage intends to keep Promethease separate from its MyHeritage DNA health product line. Unlike Promethease, MyHeritage does not provide any health reports based on DNA data uploaded from other vendors. All of MyHeritage DNA’s health reports are based on clinical validation of the underlying DNA data.
“The acquisition of SNPedia and Promethease expands MyHeritage’s intellectual property in medical genetics. Going forward, SNPedia will empower us to broaden the scope of health reports provided by the MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry test and propel it to become a global market leader in consumer DNA testing. We are happy to keep SNPedia as a free resource for the academic community and for consumers,” said Dr. Yaniv Erlich, Chief Science Officer of MyHeritage.
“We are pleased with the acquisition by MyHeritage. We expect this to extend SNPedia’s contribution to even more consumers and thereby improve millions of lives through MyHeritage’s popular DNA testing platform,” said Dr. Greg Lennon, co-founder of SNPedia and Promethease.
Promethease currently contains hundreds of thousands of raw DNA files uploaded by customers who have tested with services such as Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and FamilyTreeDNA. The vast majority of Promethease customers are from the United States. As of November 1st, 2019, for existing non-European Promethease users only, the DNA data that is on Promethease will be copied to the MyHeritage website into new user accounts that will be created for them. Users who have uploaded DNA files to Promethease will retain ownership of their data (MyHeritage asserts no ownership rights over the DNA data), and manage it on the MyHeritage website in private accounts accessible only to them, and receive free value-add services, including ethnicity estimates and DNA matching for relatives. This is in addition to the accounts they will continue to maintain on Promethease. Non-European Promethease users who are not interested in having their DNA data and accounts copied to MyHeritage can log in to Promethease and delete their DNA data permanently before November 1 st, 2019, and their DNA data and accounts will not be copied. Promethease users will also be able to delete their DNA data and accounts permanently from MyHeritage and Promethease at any time thereafter. MyHeritage will de-duplicate the DNA data so that DNA kits that have already been uploaded separately to MyHeritage by the same users will not be copied over to MyHeritage again. For new users who sign up to Promethease on or after November 1 st, 2019 and upload DNA data, it will be copied to new accounts created for them on MyHeritage on an ongoing basis.
People who wish to take a genetic health test or receive health reports are encouraged to purchase the MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry test, which is based on clinically validated genetic markers and robust scientific research.
MyHeritage is the leading global discovery platform for exploring family history and gaining valuable health insights. With billions of historical records and family tree profiles, and with sophisticated matching technologies that work across all its assets, MyHeritage allows users to discover their past and empower their future. Launched in 2016, MyHeritage DNA has become one of the world’s largest consumer DNA databases, with more than 3 million people, and it is about to grow further following the acquisition of Promethease by MyHeritage. The new MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry test launched in May 2019 adds comprehensive health reports, some unique to MyHeritage, to help people understand how their genetics may affect their health and make informed choices to improve their future. As the world’s only integrated service that combines family history and DNA testing for genealogy and health, MyHeritage is uniquely positioned to offer users a meaningful discovery experience that unites their past, present, and future. Available in 42 languages, MyHeritage is home to 104 million registered users, 45 million family trees, and nearly 10 billion historical records. MyHeritage is the most popular DNA test and family history service in Europe, and was the presenting partner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.