23andMe to buy telehealth firm Lemonaid for $400 million

·1 min read
Attendees visit the 23andMe booth at the RootsTech annual genealogical event in Salt Lake City

By Dania Nadeem

(Reuters) - Direct-to-consumer DNA testing firm 23andMe Holding Co said on Friday it would buy privately held company Lemonaid Health Inc for $400 million in a cash-and-stock deal, as it looks to expand into telemedicine.

Lemonaid Health offers patients direct online access for a number of common conditions, from consultation through treatment. It also offers free and fast delivery of prescription medications.

"By starting with genetics as the foundation, we will give patients and healthcare providers better information about health risks and treatment," 23andMe Chief Executive Officer Anne Wojcicki said in a statement.

Sunnyvale, California-based 23andMe is known for its genetic ancestry tests but also aims to develop treatments for diseases such as cancer and respiratory disorders.

The company said it would pay 25% of the total deal value in cash and the rest in shares.

The deal is expected to close by the end of 2021.

23andMe went public in February through a blank-check firm, backed by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, in a deal that valued the merged entity at $3.5 billion.

(Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)