I do not know if any of you noticed this article on Wired.com
Privacy fears as DNA testing firm deCODE Genetics goes bust
DNA Testing Firm Goes Bankrupt; Who Gets the Data?
An Icelandic firm that offers private DNA testing to customers has filed for bankruptcy in the U.S., raising privacy concerns about the fate of
customer DNA samples and records, according to the Times of London.
DNA profiles belonging to thousands of people who have paid up to £600 for internet genetic tests are to be transferred to a new organisation,
after deCODE Genetics filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in a US court.
The genetic records of its customers will now be held by Saga Investments, a venture capital group that has agreed to buy deCODE’s core
science operations, including its deCODEme personalised genetic testing service.
Industry experts said that Saga would want to maximise returns on its investment, and could still make wider use of data that some subscribers may
find uncomfortable. Pooled and anonymised information, for example, could be sold to academic researchers or pharmaceutical companies.
Dan Vorhaus, a lawyer with the US firm Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson, which specialises in genomics, said that while the new management would be bound
by deCODE’s customer agreements, these were often unclear and contradictory.
The potential sale to Saga Investments is mentioned in an article on
DeCode Genetics Inc., the Icelandic company that develops drugs based on studies of the human genome, sought bankruptcy protection from
creditors, agreed to a sale and said shareholders are unlikely to get any money back.
DeCode, based in Reykjavik, filed a Chapter 11 petition yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. The company also agreed to sell
its drug discovery and development programs and an Icelandic unit that conducts human genetic research to Saga Investments LLC for about $14 million,
according to court papers.
It is hardly the best investment though!!
In court documents filed yesterday, the company said it had $70 million in assets and $314 million in debt, including $230 million in 3.5 percent
convertible notes. Bank of New York was listed as trustee for the notes, which are due in 2011.
And another odd facet to this story is the company Saga
Saga Investments, LLC
Incorporated by Brandon Roth, Jonathan Agus, Saga Investments, LLC is located at 21474 Linwood Ct Boca Raton, FL 33433. Saga Investments, LLC was
incorporated on Thursday, July 22, 2004 in the State of FL and is currently active. Jonathan J. Lichtman, P.A. represents Saga Investments, LLC as
their registered agent.
According to Bloomberg:
The sale to Saga, an investment company backed by Polaris Venture Partners and Arch Venture Partners
Now these two firms, Polaris Venture Partners
ARCH Venture Partners
seem to be established venture capital investment companies. Why would they be
buying a bankrupt company like deCODEme
, using a sister company (a not very well known one either) like Saga
Especially when you take this into consideration that according to
, Saga is listed as having Brandon Roth
and Jonathan Agus as its officers. I can't find much on Mr Roth, but Mr Agus is really doing well to be bidding $14million for a biotech firm,
considering this news item:
South Florid Business Journal
The owner of the Camino Real Centre in Boca Raton was hit with a $32.4 million foreclosure lawsuit.
Utah-based Capmark Bank filed the foreclosure action Nov. 10 against Birkat Harav Camino Fee Owner and managing members Izzy Ashkenazy and Jonathan
Agus, according to Palm Beach County Circuit Court records.
There are some scenarios here, I smell a rat but cannot put my finger on it.
Maybe this tangled web of companies has plans for the thousands of DNA samples, records and Info on file, and is trying to muddy the paper trail.
Or maybe, these guys know something that the rest of the world doesn't....
Maybe the clue is in on the Home page of Arch Partners:
ARCH Venture Partners invests in the development of seed and early stage technology companies that have the potential to grow rapidly into
I don't know, but something isn't right here. Why would a dodgy company (Saga), backed by two established companies ( Arch and Polaris) buy up a
firm which has run up a NET debt of $256 million - surely this company and industry is not a sound investment!?
DeCODE’s bankruptcy comes just days after its main competitor selling personalised DNA tests, 23andMe, raised its prices, prompting suggestions
that the fledgling industry is struggling to make consumer genetics pay.
As I mentioned earlier, I can't quite put my finger on it ATS, but something isn't right.
Keep your eyes open for an announcement on a DNA database, or compulsory testing, something like that. I just wanted to get this down before it
You all may not find this interesting, but as another member said today:
This is a conspiracy site isn't it? Then act like it people.
[edit on 18-11-2009 by kiwifoot]