June 24, 2019
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Promethease vs Codegen: which 3rd party health report is better?

While the health information included is comprehensive, both of these sites have a steep learning curve and are not user-friendly.
Tomohiro Takano

Promethease vs Codegen

Promethease.com and Codegen.eu are very similar sites. Both sites can be used to upload raw data from other DNA testing companies to discover genetic variants which have been correlated to health information in scientific papers. Promethease or Codegen can take raw DNA data from the test results of AncestryDNA, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, and other genetic testing companies. The editors here at Genomelink have compared the two sites, so users can find the right platform for their needs.

Similarities between Promethease and Codegen

Both of these 3rd party sites are similar to “search engines”. After you upload your data, such as 23andMe data, the sites return a massive report on your genetic variants. The sites search scientific papers for mentions of correlations between the genetic variants of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) you carry, and the risk for various conditions that may affect your health in some way.

However, both of these sites also have a steep learning curve and are not user-friendly. Below are several sites from the International Society of Genetic Genealogy and Wiki which explain how to use Promethease and Codegen, if you are interested in doing your own research on genetic information. Alternatively, you can read this beginner’s guide on how to get the most out of your Promethease report.

ISOGG - Raw DNA Data Tools

Wikipedia - SNPedia and Promethease

Differences between Promethease and Codegen

The main difference that will matter to users of the two platforms is cost. Promethease charges $12 for every report, plus $4 for every additional raw data file included within the report (eg. you upload both your AncestryDNA and 23andMe raw data files). Codegen offers a free analysis of any genome, but only one genome can be analyzed at a time.

The companies also take a slightly different strategy to find and document SNPs related to health reports. Promethease was developed by the creators of SNPedia.com, a website dedicated to documenting and reporting correlations with various genetic data. Many of their reports link to SNPedia articles which explain and discuss various genes, like an online genetic counselor.

Codegen also finds and documents various genetic conditions based on a data file, yet the Codegen platform stores all the information within the platform. Within your report, you will find information on what various SNPs contribute to your genetics. Also, Codegen has a unique feature which uses computer algorithms to rate whether a variant is “good” or “bad”, though the exact accuracy of this system has not been tested.

Highlights of Features Offered by Codegen EU vs. Genomelink vs. Promethease

As a DNA analysis service, Codegen EU does not help customers get their raw DNA data. Instead, customers will first need to take a DNA test from another provider like Ancestry or 23andMe. 

Once your data is uploaded to the Codegen system, the platform algorithm can begin to compare your traits against clinical research studies. From there, Codegen EU provides a report with impact scores (1-10) to evaluate which, if any, genetic mutations apply.

Likewise, Promethease does not provide a service for collecting raw genetic information. The main feature of Promethease is the high level of detail included in user reports. While the company doesn’t use the impact score system, it does provide reports with more detail than the ones available from Codegen EU. 

Promethease reports include additional information, such as embedded links to articles and studies relevant to the user. Because of this extra step, Codegen EU is not the best Promethease alternative.

However, when we look at Genomelink vs. Promethease, it becomes more obvious that Promethease and Codegen provide only a fraction of the information available through Genomelink. While both companies offer detailed information in creative ways, the information can be difficult to understand. Also, neither Promethease nor Codegen EU offers users help for using that information to improve their health.

Promethease vs. Codegen EU: Security

Both companies get high marks for protecting their customers’ DNA data and personal information. Codegen EU takes the proactive approach of deleting stored reports after seven days if users do not delete their information after logging out of a session. The company’s privacy policy is simple and easy to understand.

Codegen does not disclose your genetic data to Facebook, Twitter, or Google Analytics, even though the company uses those widgets on its home page. It does not share information unless required by law. All materials are anonymized, and it reports it has no conflicts of interest. There have been no legal actions or subpoenas served to Codegen EU at this date.

Promethease meets almost all of the same security standards as Codegen EU and other competitors. It also allows customers the option to run data as guest users, which does not require creating an account. As a guest, data is automatically deleted 24 hours after logging out. Promethease does not sell genetic data to third parties. Customers retain 100% ownership of their own raw DNA data.

Promethease did experience a security breach in 2018. The incident was blamed for leaking the data of more than 92 million users. According to the company, passwords and email addresses were accessed by hackers, but genetic data and credit card information, which are stored in a separate system, were not part of the leak.

In 2019, several MyHeritage user profiles were found for sale on the dark web. In the same year, some users who declined to identify themselves claimed MyHeritage accessed raw DNA data even though the customers said they had deleted their files from the Promethease database. 

Other Options for Raw DNA Data Analysis

In general, these companies are very much the same. They both analyze a raw data file which can come from a number of sources, such as a 23andMe test. Both companies present their DNA test reports in an HTML format, allowing users to expand various sections and change certain parameters. A Promethease report relates to articles on SNPedia, while Codegen presents the majority of its information within its reports. Beyond that, there is not much difference between the two.

If you are looking for other options for exploring your raw DNA data, there are several options which others have used. Many of them are free, and with them, you can discover a wealth of information about your genetics! To find out more DNA upload sites, check out our article "The Best DNA Upload Sites"

Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO