Lynghals 1 IS-110 Reykjavik Iceland
Phone: 354-570-1900

Kari Stefansson, president and CEO NASDAQ:DCGN


DeCode genetics Inc. is a population-based genomics company conducting research into the inherited causes of common diseases, and operating an ultra-high-throughput genotyping laboratory. The company was founded in August 1996 in Reykjavik, Iceland, making it Iceland’s first biotechnology company. Together with pharmaceutical companies and other health care institutions, DeCode aims to use its research to develop new methods for identifying, treating and preventing disease.

DeCode uses its population data to turn research on the genetic causes of common diseases into a range of products and services in gene discovery, pharmaceuticals, DNA-based diagnostics, pharmacogenomics, in silico discovery tools, bioinformatics and medical decision support systems.

Through large-scale genotyping, DeCode’s scientists generate genetic “fingerprints” of each chromosome in every patient. The fingerprint shared by related patients represents the approximate location of the disease gene. By performing progressively higher-resolution DNA analysis, including the use of single nucleotide polymorphisms, the region containing the gene is narrowed furthered. Genes discovered within this location are screened for mutations by comparing the DNA sequence of healthy and afflicted individuals; those specifically mutated are likely to contribute to the disease.

DeCode genetics’ mission is to perform genetic and medical research to identify disease genes, and drug and diagnostic targets; to use modern informatics technology to discover facts about health and disease through data mining; and to use this knowledge to develop and sell products and services for the international health care industry

The Icelandic population is, genetically speaking, relatively homogeneous. The country has a sophisticated, high-quality health care system and extensive genealogical records. Through these, resources can be generated to identify genes associated with a multitude of diseases. Research based on this unique population provides insights into the pathogenesis of these diseases.

Besides its genetic research, DeCode offers health and bioinformatics services and software for analyzing disease patterns, treatment outcomes and health care costs.

In 2000, DeCode launched Encode, also based in Reykjavik, as a subsidiary specializing in pharmacogenomics.


Antibody treatment: Genmab A/S.

Bioinformatics software: Applied Biosystems.

Gene research: Partners HealthCare System Inc.

DNA-based tests: Affymetrix Inc.

DNA-based diagnostics: F. Hoffmann-La Roche.

DeCode genetics has entered into collaboration agreements and arrangements with the three largest hospitals in Iceland, the Icelandic Heart Association and with several groups of physicians pursuant to which the hospitals and physicians will help construct lists of patients with specific diseases and provide expertise and clinical and research data related to DeCode’s research projects.