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Relaunched Decode to Continue Offering Genotyping, DTC Services

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By Justin Petrone

Decode Genetics, which relaunched last week as a privately held firm after the sale of its assets to an investment consortium, said that it will continue to offer genotyping services and its personal genome scans to customers.

The company, now called Decode Genetics Ehf, will continue its human genetics operations and all of the Decode brand products and services, including the Decode diagnostics disease risk tests; direct-to-consumer DecodeMe personal genome scans; and contract service offerings including genotyping, sequencing, and data analysis, the company said.

Decode is a longtime Illumina customer that has contributed content to several of its genotyping chips (see BAN 11/11/2008). Some of its services, such as DecodeMe, have been offered on the Illumina BeadArray platform, and, most recently, Decode published a method for identifying the parental origin of SNPs in data generated by Illumina arrays (see BAN 1/5/2010).

The newly financed, privately owned firm will be led by a two-man executive committee comprising CEO Earl Collier, a former executive vice president at Genzyme; and Executive Chairman and President of Research Kari Stefansson, who formerly served as CEO of Decode Genetics.

Decode Genetics Ehf was created as a subsidiary of publicly traded Decode Genetics, which is involved in ongoing bankruptcy proceedings in the US. Decode Genetics Ehf this week was sold to Saga Investments, an investment consortium with financial backing from Polaris Venture Partners and Arch Venture Partners.

According to court documents, Illumina agreed in August 2009 to provide an investment commitment to Saga to provide the necessary financial resources to proceed with the transaction, but the exact relationship between Illumina and Saga is unclear at this time.

The publicly held Decode Genetics, meantime, has changed its name to DGI Resolution, and will continue to provide updated information about its Chapter 11 proceedings in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, where it is registered.

DGI Resolution said that it expects to be liquidated, subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court. In the event of a liquidation, any recovery for its stockholders would be highly unlikely, the company said.

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