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Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_88059

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.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
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 |  14 August 2020
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