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Amgen to Acquire Icelandic Genome Company

Amgen Inc. announced on Monday that it is purchasing deCODE Genetics Inc., an Icelandic company that does genetic research used in biopharmaceutical development, for $415 million. The Thousand Oaks firm is acquiring the Reykjavik company for its technology that helps identify genetic defects related to cancer, cardiovascular disease and schizophrenia, which could be treated with drugs developed by Amgen. “deCODE Genetics has built a world-class capability in the study of the genetics of human disease,” said Amgen Chief Executive Robert Bradway, in a statement. And added benefit of the acquisition is that deCODE had previously completed contract work for rival biopharma firms Merck & Co. Inc. and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. deCODE has experienced financial difficulties, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. court in 2009 while it was publicly traded. In early 2010, it was taken private by Saga Investments LLC, which includes prominent venture capital firms Polaris Venture Partners and ARCH Venture Partners. Shares of Amgen gained $1.42, or 1.6 percent, to close at $89.74 on the Nasdaq.

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