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Iceland genetics firm to float on stock market

14 February 2000
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 45

deCODE genetics, the controversial Icelandic genetics research firm headed by Kari Stefansson, is to be floated on the stock market. It is likely to become one of the largest biotech firms in Europe. 'deCODE is going to go like a bomb. It would not surprise me to see its value reach $2 billion or more' said one industry expert.

Last month, the Icelandic government granted deCODE access to the medical records, family trees and genetic information of all of the country's 270,000 inhabitants. But more than a fifth of Iceland's medical doctor's oppose the database, because it is based on presumed patient consent. Concerned academics and doctors have set up an organisation called Mannvernd (Icelanders for Ethics in Science), which last week vowed to sue their government for its actions.

There has been little immigration to Iceland since the arrival of the Vikings almost 1000 years ago, and deCODE hope to use this unique genetic heritage to track down genes involved in disease. Dr Stefansson believes his company is good both for Iceland's economy and genetics research. 'We're studying the information which contains the blueprint for man and I am absolutely convinced that this will revolutionise healthcare not only here in Iceland but worldwide', he said.

Cuts no ice
New Scientist |  12 February 2000
Fire and fury in Iceland
Science and Public affairs |  1 February 2000
Iceland sells its genetic history
The BBC |  4 February 2000
Nasdaq listing beckons deCODE
The Times |  17 October 2021
25 January 2010 - by Nishat Hyder 
The pioneering genetics research company, deCODE, reemerged last week as a private company with new financial backing. Based in Reykjavik, Iceland, the original company deCODE Genetics, Inc led the way internationally in genetic testing and diagnostics for over a decade. With unique access to genetic information from Iceland's isolated population, the biotech firm has made important discoveries, such as identifying gene variants associated with common conditions ...
30 November 2009 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
After almost ten happy years as a BioNews editor, this issue will be my last. I started working for Progress Educational Trust (PET) in February 2000, nearly a year after BioNews was launched by Juliet Tizzard, the first PET director. In my first week, I remember thinking how useful a news digest of developments in the fast-moving areas of genetics and assisted reproduction was - and what a fascinating job it was going to be. But at the same time, I privately wondered whether there would be q...
13 April 2004 - by BioNews 
The law used to create Iceland's national genetic database may be unconstitutional, according to a recent ruling by the country's supreme court. In a case brought last November, the court upheld the right of a woman to withhold her deceased father's medical records from the scheme, which is run on...
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