In 2017, more people decided to take a genetic ancestry test than in every other year combined for the industry. Over 12 million people have now taken a genetic test for a purpose other than medical information. Most of the people who are purchasing industry products are based in the United States. That suggests that roughly 1 and 25 American adults now have access to their personal genetic data thanks to the active firms in this industry.
One of the primary reasons that the genetic testing industry has seen such high levels of growth in recent years is a change in its price point. When businesses offer 2-for-1 deals during the holidays or tests under $60, then consumers are much more likely to purchase an item for the sake of curiosity.
Ancestry reported that it tested 7 million people by the end of 2017, including 2 million tests that occurred during the last four months of the year. 23andMe is the second-largest provider of this service in the world today, testing more than 3 million people by the end of 2017.
Early estimates from 2018 data suggest that this trend is continuing, with both companies reporting a population increase of roughly 2 million users.
Essential Genetic Testing Industry Statistics
#1. Ancestry spent $109 million on television ads and other media in the United States to advertise their genetic testing products. 23andMe spent roughly $21 million to let the public know about their services as well. (MIT Technology Review)
#2. The total revenues generated by the global genetic testing industry in 2017 was $7.74 billion. (Reuters)
#3. There are about 10 new genetic tests that reach the market every day in this industry. This level of innovation has been president in this segment since the beginning of 2014. (Mordor Intelligence)
#4. The direct-to-consumer genetic testing marketing in the United States was valued at just $54 million in 2014. (Statista)
#5. There are 92 firms in the world today which provide DTC genetic testing products for relatedness purposes as of 2016 figures. 88 companies provided services for non-legal paternity tests, with another 83 offering legal paternity test. Only 74 agencies offered DNA testing that could let people know about their ancestry. (Statista)
#6. As of March 2018, the total number of CLIA-certified laboratories actively marketed in the United States was 74,448 genetic testing units. Most of these tests were for single genes, although multi-gene panels continue to rise in popularity. (Concert Genetics)
#7. There were 5,210 net new genetic testing units that entered the market in 2017 for the industry, which is an average of 5 more additional units per day than what the industry experienced in 2015. (Concert Genetics)
#8. The market for multi-gene panels offered over 800 new products as of March 2018, with new products representing 8% of the overall industry. There are approximately 9,500 of these panels on the market right now. (Concert Genetics)
#9. 65% of the genetic tests that meet the criteria to test for BRCA1/2 meet the criteria to offer unique gene combinations. (Concert Genetics)
#10. Genetic testing is currently available for over 2,000 common and rare conditions today. These services are available from over 500 different laboratories in the United States. (National Institutes of Health)
#11. Only 57% of people say that they believe the tests that use genes to predict diseases are mostly reliable and accurate. 24% say that these products are not. (STAT-Harvard Poll)
#12. 56% of people say that they would take a test from the genetic testing industry to determine if they were likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in the future. 42% said that they would be unwilling to use such a product. (STAT-Harvard Poll)
#13. If a genetic test was able to tell someone that they were likely to develop cancer in the future, then 56% of consumers say that they would want to take it. (STAT-Harvard Poll)
#14. 59% of Americans say that they believe the FDA should approve gene therapy treatments in the United States. 64% say that the federal government should fund scientific research that could help to develop new gene therapy treatments. (STAT-Harvard Poll)
#15. One of the reasons why Americans have struggled to accept the genetic testing industry is because their doctors are hesitant to recommend these services. 74% of doctors look at a family medical history as a top priority when diagnosing or treating patients instead of using genome sequencing for the process. (STAT-Harvard Poll)
#16. Only 15% of doctors say that they have had a patient ask for help in trying to understand the data they received from a genetic testing product. (Sermo)
#17. 37% of doctors in the United States said that they would not help a patient if they brought in the results of a genetic test that the individual took through 23andMe or Ancestry. (Sermo)
#18. Only 47% of doctors said that they believed in the validity of the reports that the genetic data produces when using DTC products supplied by the industry. (Sermo)
#19. The health insurance industry in the United States is hesitant to pay for any genetic testing processes at all, much less DTC products. In Q2 2017, there were a total of only 20 claims for exome sequencing covered by an active policy. In some recent quarters, such as Q2 2015, there were fewer than 5 claims covered despite hundreds of thousands of other genetic tests receiving support. (Concert Genetics)
#20. Oncology, hereditary cancer, and prenatal tests represent about 90% of the commercial payments that occur in the genetic testing industry today. (Concert Genetics)
#21. In any given month for the healthcare industry, and expanded carrier screening panel can be billed up to 400 different ways. Over an 18-month period, there may be over 2,500 unique combinations that make it a challenge for consumers to access the testing and treatment options they require. (Concert Genetics)
#22. AncestryDNA sold approximately 1.5 million of its genetic testing kits during the holiday rush before Christmas in 2018. (Gizmodo)
#23. The consumer market for genetic health testing in the United States was valued at $99 million in 2018. (Gizmodo)
#24. More than 7 million people voluntarily sent their DNA to testing companies to receive information about their profile, health, or ancestry even when there wasn’t a free deal or an invitation to do so. (Science News)
#25. Over 12 million people have used at least one consumer genetic testing product since 2007, although the first products sold by the industry began reaching the market in 1996. (Science News)
#26. Human Longevity offers one of the most accurate genetic testing opportunities that is available in the industry today, but it comes with a $25,000 price tag. (Science News)
#27. Exome sequencing focuses on the protein-coding genes, which represent roughly 2% of an individual’s DNA. Most of the products offered by the DTC genetic testing industry take a minimalist approach as a way to speed up information processing. (Science News)
#28. About 3% of healthy people in the world today have a known disease-causing variant in one or more of their 59 genes. (Genetics in Medicine)
#29. 23andMe currently examines 32 variants to provide information about traits or certain medical conditions. (23andMe)
#30. The average person has an 80% chance of having at least one genetic variant in one of their 806 genes. This issue could alter the way that some of the top 100 prescribed drugs in the United States works, which is why the information provided by the genetic testing industry is so relevant to the future of medical science. (Science News)
Genetic Testing Industry Trends and Analysis
The genetic testing industry has seen rapid growth occur since 2017. With an increase of technological advancements occurring in this segment, this may be the beginning of a pattern that includes explosive revenue growth. Some Industry forecasts suggest that there could be an annual CAGR of 14% over the next 5-10 years. It is more reasonable to expect the industry to achieve 5% growth each year over the forecast period instead.
Because the trends are shifting so frequently in this industry, there is no meaningful way to predict what the future could be like for genetic testing. There are already 75,000 genetic tests that are available on the market today, with over 10,000 unique products for consumers to use or speak with their doctors about. Since 2014, there have been 14,000 new products to reach the market.
Because there has been a focus on regulating this industry by the governments around the world, the general public has become more aware of the potential advantages that their genetic information can provide. With several untapped regions of the planet ready to explore their DNA as well, including India and China, this industry is poised to potentially become one of the fastest-growing segments for the global economy in the years to come.
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