Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH MEDIA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Amgen to Acquire Gene-Hunting Firm

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 07 Jan 2013
Biotechnology giant Amgen (Thousand Oaks, CA, USA) is set to acquire deCODE Genetics (Reykjavik, Iceland), a global leader in analyzing and understanding the human genome.

The acquisition is intended to bolster Amgen’s drug discovery efforts by developing drugs based on human genetic discoveries, which have had a better track record than drugs developed by animal models that often do not work. deCODE Genetics, founded in 1996, has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of diseases, ranging from cardiovascular disease to schizophrenia, cancer, and numerous other diseases. In 2012 alone, the company published studies on a rare mutation that protects people from getting Alzheimer’s disease and a study suggesting that older men are more likely to father children with autism.

In January 2010 most of deCODE genetics assets were purchased by Saga Investments (Akureyri, Iceland) an investment company whose owners include Polaris Venture Partners and ARCH Venture Partners, with the intention of continuing most services and retaining the management team. The all-cash transaction values deCODE Genetics at USD 415 million (subject to customary closing adjustments), and does not require regulatory approval. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of 2012.

“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,” said Robert A. Bradway, president and CEO at Amgen. “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.”

“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,” said Kari Stefansson, MD, founder and CEO of deCODE Genetics. “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.”

In the late 1990s deCODE collected medical records and genealogical and genetic data of the entire population of Iceland (which numbered 270,000 at the time), creating the Icelandic Health Sector Database (HSD). The HSD became very controversial, and prompted both national and international criticism for its approach to the concepts of privacy and consent. A legal judgment from the Icelandic Supreme Court in November 2003 effectively killed off the HSD project.

Related Links:
Amgen
deCODE Genetics


Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Pulsed near infrared light (shown in red) is shone onto a tumor (shown in white) that is encased in blood vessels. The tumor is imaged by photoacoustic tomography via the ultrasound emission (shown in blue) from the gold nanotubes (Photo courtesy of Jing Claussen (iThera Medical, Germany)).

Gold Nanotubes Are Novel Agents for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Cancer researchers have produced a highly defined class of gold nanotubes that are suitable for use in animals as in vivo imaging nanoprobes, photothermal conversion agents, and drug delivery vehicles.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Molecular model of the protein Saposin C (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Nanovesicles Kill Human Lung Cancer Cells in Culture and in a Mouse Xenograft Model

Nanovesicles assembled from the protein Saposin C (SapC) and the phospholipid dioleoylphosphatidylserine (DOPS) were shown to be potent inhibitors of lung cancer cells in culture and in a mouse xenograft model.... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Possible New Target Found for Treating Brain Inflammation

Scientists have identified an enzyme that produces a class of inflammatory lipid molecules in the brain. Abnormally high levels of these molecules appear to cause a rare inherited eurodegenerative disorder, and that disorder now may be treatable if researchers can develop suitable drug candidates that suppress this enzyme.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: The FLUOVIEW FVMPE-RS Gantry microscope (Photo courtesy of Olympus).

New Multiphoton Laser Scanning Microscope Configurations Expand Research Potential

Two new configurations of a state-of-the-art multiphoton laser scanning microscope extend the usefulness of the instrument for examining rapidly occurring biological events and for obtaining images from... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.