23andMe wants to be a drug company

23andMe. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

23andMe is best known for its home DNA-testing kits, but it also wants to become a pharmaceutical company.

Driving the news: 23andMe is doing early research on 13 compounds, which could ultimately treat skin conditions, cancer and heart disease, Business Insider reports (subscription required).

  • The company has 70 scientists working on those compounds, plus 2 more potential drugs that are further along in the process.
  • And all of that comes on top of 23andMe's partnership with established drugmakers. It struck a $300 million deal with GlaxoSmithKline last year.

The intrigue: The overwhelming majority of efforts to create a new drug end in failure. But 23andMe is hoping its vast stores of human DNA information will give it a better shot, per Business Insider.