Aiming to Better Target Drugs, Amgen Buys Decode Genetics for $415M

U.S. biotechnology giant Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) inked a deal to buy Decode Genetics on Monday for $415 million in cash as it looks to enhance in drug portfolio by better discovering what drives human disease.

Founded in 1996, Reykjavik, Iceland-based Decode is a global leader in analyzing the link between the genome and disease susceptibility. The company has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

"This capability will enhance our efforts to identify and validate human disease targets,” Amgen CEO Robert Bradway said in a statement. “This fits perfectly with our objective to pursue rapid development of relevant molecules that reach the right disease targets while avoiding investments in programs based on less well-validated targets."

Decode went public in 2000 but filed for bankruptcy and reemerged as a privately-held company nine years later following several years of weak financial performance.

Its transaction with Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen does not require regulatory approval and is expected to close before the end of the year.