Crime and Courts

San Diego biotech will pay $200K after allegations of misleading claims

Biora Therapeutics made misleading claims regarding the costs of genetic testing services

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A San Diego-based biotechnology company has agreed to pay $200,000 to resolve allegations that it made misleading claims to healthcare providers and patients regarding the cost of its genetic testing services, the California Attorney General's Office announced Monday.

The settlement announced by California Attorney General Rob Bonta's office requires Biora Therapeutics, formerly Progenity, to pay $200,000 in penalties and wipes out all outstanding debts for California consumers for the company's genetic testing services.

The company, which offered tests to screen for elevated risks of cancer and other diseases that could be passed from parent to child, "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," Bonta's office said.

The settlement reached in Sacramento County Superior Court holds that Biora will provide notice to all Californians whose debt is now waived, which accounts for 465 consumers who owed more than $575,000, including interest and late fees. The company is also prohibited from accepting any further payments from any California resident who paid for its services and cannot share the consumers' information with credit reporting agencies or collection services.

"Companies have a responsibility to ensure claims about their products' costs are fully accurate," said Bonta. "Today's settlement holds Biora to account for its deceptive advertising and shields its customers from financial harm."

The company has since shuttered its genetics lab and pivoted to drug research and development.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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