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Decode, Thinner by 200 Staff, Pens Obesity R&D Collab With Merck

NEW YORK, Sept. 27 - Decode Genetics and Merck will partner to study the genetic components of obesity, the companies said today.


For the next three years, the two firms will use Decode's Clinical Gene Miner technology to hopefully gain a "detailed understanding" of targets provided through Merck's in-house gene-expression research.

Decode stands to pocket "substantial" research funding, tech-access and license fees, milestone payments, and potential royalties. Though none of the financial details was disclosed, Decode, which today announced it axed 200 employees, said it stands to earn $90 million if Merck is able to develop and sell "more than one" product from the collaboration.


Decode has already done some work in obesity. The Icelandic company said it has mapped "several key genes" linked to obesity, and has put together "detailed" genotypic and clinical data from more than 10,000 adult volunteers from its home country.


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