September 26, 2023 - OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Monday announced a settlement with biotechnology company Biora Therapeutics, Inc., formerly known as Progenity Inc., over its alleged violations of consumer protection laws. The settlement resolves allegations that the San Diego-based company made misleading claims regarding the costs of its genetic testing services when advertising to healthcare providers and patients. Today’s settlement agreement requires Biora to pay $200,000 in penalties and waive all outstanding debts of California consumers for its genetic testing services. The agreement also restricts the company's marketing and advertising for three years.
“Companies have a responsibility to ensure claims about their products’ costs are fully accurate,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Today’s settlement holds Biora to account for its deceptive advertising and shields its customers from financial harm. My office will continue to work tirelessly to protect California consumers and hold companies that break the law to account.”
Until June of 2021, Biora provided genetic carrier tests, hereditary cancer screens, monogenetic disease testing, and non-invasive prenatal screens under the name Progenity, Inc. An investigation launched by the California Department of Justice's Healthcare Rights and Access Section (HRA) in July of 2021 found that Progenity advertised and marketed its testing services with false and misleading representations concerning the costs of its services, in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law.
As part of today’s settlement, Biora will pay $200,000 in civil penalties. It has also agreed to waive all of the outstanding debts of California consumers for its genetic testing services, including all interest and late fees — a total of approximately $577,763 owed by 465 consumers.
The settlement agreement also includes strong injunctive terms that, among other things:
- Prevent Biora from accepting any further payment from any California resident who paid for its genetic testing services.
- Prohibit Biora from sharing the information of these consumers with credit reporting agencies or collection services.
- Require Biora to provide notice to Californians whose debt it waived.
- Restrict Biora’s marketing and advertising for three years.
After June 2021, Biora closed its genetics lab and refocused its operations solely on drug research and development.
A copy of today’s settlement agreement can be found here.
Source: CA. DOJ