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Decode Genetics Seeks to Sell Non-Core Assets; Shares Plummet

This article has been updated to include Decode's closing stock price on Thursday.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Decode Genetics said after the close of the market on Wednesday that it is conducting a review of its long-term business strategy with a goal of sharpening its business focus and selling non-core assets, among other aims.
Decode's shares tumbled 34 percent to close at $.25 in Thursday trade on the Nasdaq. Its shares are down more than 90 percent from the beginning of the year.
The Reykjavik, Iceland-based firm said it has hired the Stanford Group Company to assist it in evaluating strategic alternatives and executing quickly on the results of the review by identifying buyers or partners for its non-core business units, programs, and intellectual property.
Decode did not say what parts of its business or technologies are considered non-core. The firm has early-stage drug development programs and a portfolio of DNA-based tests for diabetes, cardiovascular, and oncology applications, which it offers through its own CLIA-registered laboratory.
“We are in the process of creating a smaller, leaner Decode that will devote its efforts and resources to one line of business,” Kari Stefansson, CEO of Decode, said in a statement. “We have created a unique and growing portfolio of intellectual property, as well as a range of products and programs in both our drug development and diagnostics work, and we are engaged in discussions with potential partners and purchasers for various programs and business units.”
Decode intends to provide an update on the review during its third-quarter conference call on Nov. 6.
In addition, the firm said that it has elected to utilize a 30-day grace period for the scheduled Oct. 15 interest payment on its outstanding 3.5 percent senior convertible notes due 2011, as it completes the review and considers the sale of assets.
Earlier this month, Decode received a letter from Nasdaq informing the firm that it currently does not comply with regulations regarding the market value of its stock. If Decode does not regain compliance by Oct. 30, Nasdaq said that its shares would be delisted.

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