Microbiome testing service uBiome puts its co-founders on administrative leave after FBI raid

The microbiome testing service uBiome has placed its founders and co-chief executives, Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, on administrative leave following an FBI raid on the company’s offices last week.

The company’s board of directors have named John Rakow, currently the company’s general counsel, as its interim chairman and chief executive, the company said in a statement.

Directors of the company are also conducting an independent investigation into the company’s billing practices which is being overseen by a special committee of the board.

It was only last week that the FBI went to the company’s headquarters to search for documents related to an ongoing investigation. What’s at issue is the way that the company was billing insurers for the microbiome tests it was performing on customers.

“As interim CEO of uBiome, I want all of our stakeholders to know that we intend to cooperate fully with government authorities and private payors to satisfactorily resolve the questions that have been raised, and we will take any corrective actions that are needed to ensure we can become a stronger company better able to serve patients and healthcare providers,” Rakow said in a statement.

”My confidence is based on the significant clinical evidence and medical literature that demonstrates the utility and value of uBiome’s products as important tools for patients, health care providers and our commercial partners.” added Mr. Rakow.

It’s been a rough few weeks for consumer companies working on developing microbiome testing services and treatments based on those diagnosis. In addition to the FBI raid, the Seattle-based company, Arivale, was forced to shut down its “consumer program” after raising more than $50 million from investors, including Maveron, Polaris Partners and ARCH Venture Partners.

uBiome is backed by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, OS Fund, 8VC, Y Combinator, DNA Capital, Crunchfund, StartX, Kapor Capital, Starlight Ventures, and 500 Startups.

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