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Amgen buying deCODE Genetics for $415 million

TRENTON, N.J. — Biotech pioneer Amgen Inc., in a bid for a big edge in using people's genetic information to find better ways to attack diseases, is buying human genetics research and analytics leader deCODE Genetics for $415 million.

Amgen, the world's largest biotech company by revenue, and deCODE, based in Reykjavik, Iceland, announced the all-cash deal Monday.

DeCODE, founded in 1996, has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of diseases, ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer.

Probably its key asset — and the reason for the deal — is deCODE's huge database of the genetic and medical information of Iceland's population. That data can help researchers find links between genetic variations and characteristics that increase a person's risk of getting a particular disease and also affect patients' response to a drug.

"DeCODE Genetics has built a world-class capability in the study of the genetics of human disease. This capability will enhance our efforts to identify and validate human disease targets," Amgen CEO Robert Bradway said in a statement.


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