Iceland's Data Protection Authority has denied DeCode Genetics' request to use the country's genealogical records to estimate the genotypes of close relatives of its more than 120,000 research volunteers ScienceInsider reports. At the end of last year, Amgen announced that it was buying DeCode for $415 million.
The DPA ruled, the article states, that the company has to get informed consent to study the genotypes of the 280,000 living and dead relatives before it can proceed. None of those relatives have consented to be part of the company's studies.
DeCode had asked to use imputation to estimate the relatives' genotypes, a process that involves "combining known and estimated genotypes for its research participants with genealogical data," ScienceInsider says. The company would ten use "these estimated genotypes for individuals as controls in its studies and also [combine] them with health records for patients who are part of a disease study in Iceland but whose DNA has not been sampled," the article says.
Kari Stefánsson, the company founder and CEO tells ScienceInsider that the ruling makes "little sense" arguing that the DPA has approved the use of estimated genotypes for unconsented individuals before.
The DPA says it will reconsider DeCode's request later this month.