NEW YORK – Biora Therapeutics, formerly known as Progenity, has settled with the California Department of Justice to resolve allegations it violated consumer protection laws with its genetic testing services.
The company was accused of making misleading claims about the costs of its genetic testing services in advertisements to healthcare providers and patients. Under the settlement agreement, Biora will pay $200,000 in civil penalties and waive all outstanding debts of California consumers for its genetic testing services — a total of about $577,763 from 465 consumers, the California attorney general's office said in a statement on Monday.
The agreement also restricts the company's marketing and advertising for three years and prevents Biora from accepting any further payment from any California resident who paid for its genetic testing services. In addition, it prohibits the company from sharing the information of the consumers with credit reporting agencies or collection services and requires the firm to provide notice to the people whose debt it waived, the attorney general's office said.
"Companies have a responsibility to ensure claims about their products' costs are fully accurate," California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. "Today’s settlement holds Biora to account for its deceptive advertising and shields its customers from financial harm."
As Progenity, the company offered genetic carrier tests, hereditary cancer screens, monogenetic disease testing, and noninvasive prenatal screens until June 2021. An investigation launched in July 2021 by the California DOJ's Healthcare Rights and Access Section found that the San Diego-based firm advertised and marketed its testing services with false and misleading representations concerning the costs of its services.
After June 2021, Progenity closed its genetics laboratory and refocused its operations on drug research and development.