San Diego Biotech Company Settles False Claims Allegation With California Attorney General

San Diego Biotech Company Settles False Claims Allegation With California Attorney General
California Attorney General Rob Bonta speaks about last year's Huntington Beach oil spill investigation at the district attorney building in Santa Ana, Calif., on Sept. 8, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
City News Service

SAN DIEGO—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 on Sept. 25.

The settlement announced by California Attorney General Rob Bonta's office requires Biora Therapeutics Inc., formerly Progenity Inc., to pay $200,000 in penalties and wipe 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," Mr. 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 Mr. 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.