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Genomics plc, MassMutual to Offer Polygenic Risk Testing to Life Insurance Holders

NEW YORK – UK firm Genomics plc this week announced a partnership with US life insurance company MassMutual to make Genomics' at-home saliva-based polygenic risk test for eight common conditions available to MassMututal policyholders.

Policyholders between the age of 35 and 70 years may voluntarily elect to take the test, which assesses their genetic risk for eight common conditions: atrial fibrillation, breast or prostate cancer (depending on biological sex), cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low bone density and type 2 diabetes. Those who take it receive a health report with individually tailored, actionable health advice aimed at reducing their chances of developing each condition.

Results are not shared with MassMutual and do not impact current premiums or policies. MassMutual receives only anonymized summary data from Genomics plc in order to better understand policyowners' health, behaviors, and interest in such offerings as a whole.

MassMutual also will not know which policyholders elected to take the test, according to Genomics plc CEO Sir Peter Donnelly. "They never see the genetic information and they never see the report we [send] back," he said.

Individuals who order the test receive a saliva kit and send their sample directly to Genomics plc's lab.

Under the agreement, MassMutual pays Genomics plc to offer the test to its policyholders, although specific financial details were not disclosed.

The program follows a research study the companies conducted last year, in which more than 1,400 MassMutual policyholders participated.

"This offering allows us to further support policyowners on their path to a healthy life by learning about their risks and making informed health choices," Sears Merritt, head of enterprise technology and experience at MassMutual, said in a statement.