Iceland: Aurora Borealis

We finally have a big exit in Iceland for a startup that started it all in the Genetics space. This is the kind of stories that will bring attention to the fact that entrepreneurship and building companies in Iceland is not such a bad idea. I hope the people who cashed on this exit re-invest the money back in Iceland in young entrepreneurs and startups. I believe this is the only way to build equity in a society. I have written about how value is created and despite all the challenges that faced DeCode they were finally able to make an impact in this space coming from tiny Iceland.

By Terry McGuire, Co-Founder and Managing General Partner, Polaris Partners

Today, biotech giant Amgen announced that it acquired deCODE Genetics for just over $400 million in cash.  deCODE is a Polaris portfolio company and genomics pioneer.  Analysts will ask why; this certainly doesn’t fit the more common pharma model of acquiring a company with a promising drug in Phase 2 or 3 trials.

The answer is simple.  There is a great need by large biotechs and pharma companies to show true and more predictable innovation.  And Amgen’s leaders know that the future of healthcare is laid on the foundation of producing truly innovative medicines and technologies.

deCODE-Blood-Samples

deCODE utilizes over 140,000 Icelandic blood samples

And that’s exactly where deCODE will help Amgen.

deCODE was big data before there was something known as big data.  They and a handful of other pioneers began the big data movement in genetics.  In the…

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