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DeCode Launches Pharmacogenomics and Cancer Subsidiaries

NEW YORK, Nov 29 –DeCode Genetics, in an effort to transform its raw population genomics data into revenue-generating products, has launched two new subsidiaries: Encode for pharmacogenic studies and DeCode Cancer for developing cancer diagnostic and therapeutic products, the company said Wednesday.

Encode will provide services to measure drug effectiveness in association with individual genetic profiles for pharmaceutical company partners and customers.

" With Encode we are uniquely positioned to meet the need for a fully-integrated solution to help the global pharmaceutical industry manage risk more effectively,” Kari Stefansson, CEO of DeCode, said in a statement. “We believe that genomically-identified drug targets, cutting-edge proteomics and pharmacogenomic testing are together going to pave the way for more efficient drug development and provide an important source of revenue for DeCode."

Encode will also leverage DeCode’s gene-disease association data for it’s long-term goal of in-house drug development, the company said.

But the Reykjavik, Iceland-based company believes one form of disease deserves specific attention.

" The particularly complex biology involved in cancer research demands special focus, approaches, and alliances,” Stefansson said. " The establishment of DeCode Cancer will do that.”

DeCode Genetics is currently working on lung, skin, kidney, prostate, testicle, and thyroid gland cancer, and DeCode Cancer will broaden the scope to other common forms of the disease.

The new company will first focus on the search for genes that predispose certain individuals to cancer, on changes in gene expression as the disease progresses, and on cancer proteomics .

The company then hopes to develop new products for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention based on the research. Some of this product development will be undertaken in cooperation with corporate partners, the company said. But DeCode Cancer and its parent company also plan to bring products directly to market.

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