Amgen, the California based biotech company, announced that it will be acquiring deCODE genetics based at Reykjavik, Iceland for $415 Million. deCode was founded in 1996 and used the unique Iceland population to identify genes associated with various diseases, including schizophrenia and cancer. deCode is also a major player in personal genetics industry and offers deCODEMe product that does genetic scans to look for risks over 47 diseases.
deCODE Genetics has built a world-class capability in the study of the genetics of human disease. This capability will enhance our efforts to identify and validate human disease targets. This fits perfectly with our objective to pursue rapid development of relevant molecules that reach the right disease targets while avoiding investments in programs based on less well-validated targets.
Founded in 1996, deCODE Genetics is a global leader in analyzing and understanding the link between the genome and disease susceptibility. Using its unique expertise and access to a well-defined population in Iceland, deCODE Genetics has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer.
Kari Stefansson, M.D., Dr. Med., founder and CEO at deCODE Genetics, said
One of the ways to truly realize the full value of human genetics, is to make our research synergistic with drug development efforts where target discovery, validation and prioritization efforts can be accelerated. We believe Amgen’s focus and ability to incorporate our genetic research into their research and development efforts will translate our discoveries into meaningful therapies for patients.
Twitter Reactions on Amgen’s deCODE acquisition
Overall the general reaction from scientists to the acquisition news is somber. Here are a few reactions on the twitter
I expect the Amgen purchase of deCODE to be bad for Amgen and bad for human genetics. Disappointing outcome.
— Daniel MacArthur (@dgmacarthur) December 10, 2012
— Leonid Kruglyak (@leonidkruglyak) December 11, 2012
$deCode never released their data outside of Iceland because of ‘IRB issues’. Apparently, $415 millions magically solve all these issues.
— Yaniv erlich (@erlichya) December 10, 2012