deCODE genetics ehf today emerged as a newly financed, private company focused on advancing the science of human genetics and its application to products and services that improve human health. The new company will be building on the scientific leadership in genetics it developed over more than a decade as a subsidiary of deCODE genetics, Inc. deCODE ehf was this week purchased from its former parent company by Saga Investments LLC, a consortium that includes Polaris Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners, two leading life science investors. deCODE will continue all of its operations and product lines in this field, including its deCODE diagnostics disease risk tests; deCODEme™ personal genome scans; and contract service offerings including genotyping, sequencing and data analysis. Going forward, deCODE will concentrate on translating its science into medically and commercially important products and services. The company will be led by a two-man executive committee comprised of Earl “Duke” Collier, previously an executive vice president at Genzyme Corp.,who will serve as CEO, and Kari Stefansson, who will serve as executive chairman and president of research.
deCODE operates the most productive human gene discovery engine in the world. It is driven by genetic and medical data from 500,000 participants from around the globe taking part in its gene discovery work; comprehensive genealogies linking the 140,000 Icelandic participants; a major CLIA- and CAP-certified genotyping and sequencing facility; and statistical and informatics tools for mining large datasets, for maximizing the information derived from genotyping and sequencing data, and for visualizing genetic and disease data in research, in the clinic, and for subscribers to its genome scans.
“deCODE has led the world in discovering variants in the sequence of the human genome that affect the risk of common diseases. Our resources and expertise have also enabled us to develop the leading analytical tools in the field, and we are putting all of this to work to provide unique value for patients, physicians and researchers. As we enter the era of sequencing entire genomes, we believe our ability to make sense of ever larger amounts of data will continue to keep us in the lead in discovery. And with our now solid financial backing and the splendid addition of Duke Collier to our management, we will be taking a lead in the translation of our science into powerful products and services.” said Kari Stefansson.
“I am pleased to be joining Kari and the outstanding scientific team at deCODE,” said Duke Collier. “deCODE combines world class science devoted to human genetics, unmatched access to genetic data, and a powerful set of tools for managing and analyzing this data. SNP genotyping, and now genomic sequencing, is taking human genetics into an ever expanding world of research, discovery and translation. With its scientific skill and industrial scale analytical capacity, deCODE will be an invaluable partner to investigators, labs and companies working at the highest levels of sophistication in this exciting field. I am thrilled by the challenge and the opportunity.”