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Murky US company buys bankrupt DNA database/testing firm in strange deal!

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posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 06:56 PM

I do not know if any of you noticed this article on

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.

Privacy fears as DNA testing firm deCODE Genetics goes bust

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 Bloomberg:

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 Investments

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 and 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 Invesments?

Especially when you take this into consideration that according to Corporationwiki, 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 successful businesses.

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 happens.

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]

posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 07:38 PM
maybe it was meant to go bankrupt, it seems planned indeed.

Good stuff kiwifoot.

posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 08:07 PM
Very interesting please stay on top of this it does sound a little dodgy.These things usually mean alot more down the line

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 05:46 AM
Thanks guys! I thought this was definitely one to keep an eye on, there has to be something dodgy going on here.

Will keep an eye on this company, see if it makes the headlines for getting any major contracts or anything like that.

All the best, Kiwifoot.

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 06:30 AM
How can someone get themselfs in 314 million debt, its just unreal

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 01:46 PM
reply to post by GW8UK

Even more unreal friend, is anyone thinking that a company that lost that much could be a good investment, taking into account the general decline of the industry!

That's what got me interested- I think the ventur capital companies know something the rest of us don't!

All the best Kiwifoot!

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 05:00 PM
Kiwi you should read this thread it seems like it could be connected

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 05:13 PM
Kinda makes sense - companies have been buying and selling our addresses, telephone numbers and other personal details for a long time. Why not buy up DNA samples in an acquisition?

Question is, what would they be doing with them? Cloning us?

posted on Nov, 21 2009 @ 04:56 AM
Thanks a lot guys for drawing my attention to this:

Hugh? email from Corp. "It prohibits employers from making adverse employment decisions based on a

On May 21, 2008, President Bush signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits U.S. employers from discriminating on the basis of genetic information. The employment provisions of GINA go into effect on November 21, 2009.

I'm not often right when it comes to my conspiracies!

But I did call it.....

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 happens.

Now GWB knew that this was going to be an issue, he realised that soon oin the future our DNA will be tested.....reminds me 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 successful businesses.

I wonder if the new health care legislation will contain compulsary DNA tests, these guys seem to know that something big regarding our DNA is up and coming!

Watch this space!

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