Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Thursday, September 12 2019 - 01:55
deCODE in Iceland agrees to sequence half of UK Biobanks participants
REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 11. September, 2019/PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

deCODE in Iceland agrees to sequence half of UK Biobanks participants
deCODE genetics in Iceland has entered into an agreement with a consortium of 
government, charity, researchers and world leading biopharmaceutical and 
healthcare companies to undertake whole genome sequencing of UK Biobank 
participants. The project will allow the complete sequencing of the genetic 
code of all 500,000 participants in the UK Biobank. This challenging project 
represents the single most ambitious sequencing program ever undertaken in the 
The UK Biobank is an extraordinary resource for medical research that Great 
Britain has built over the past 15 years. Furthermore, Great Britain has set an 
example by unselfishly making it available to scientists from all over the 

The Whole Genome Sequencing of the UK Biobank participants will be performed by 
deCODE genetics together with the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK with an 
anticipated completion in the summer of 2021. This project will dramatically 
enhance the value of the UK Biobank‘s uniquely rich data resource and will 
become a game-changing resource accessible to the global scientific community 
to understand, diagnose, treat and prevent life-changing diseases such as 
cancer and dementia. 

The scale of the sequencing program presents unique challenges particularly in 
the way that the vast amounts of data are generated, stored and analyzed. 
deCODE has built a sequencing and analytical capacity required to execute this 
challenging project.  The total amount of genetic data generated are roughly 
equivalent to around 5,000 billion pages of text and that will be linked to the 
detailed clinical and lifestyle data for each participant in the UK Biobank 

“deCODE is taking human genetic research to a new level, applying the methods 
we pioneered in Iceland to lead a worldwide search for disease genes” said Kari 
Stefansson, CEO of deCODE Genetics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amgen. “As 
drug development programs backed by genetics are twice as likely to succeed, 
our sequencing capabilities will be essential to the consortium, and the 
broader scientific community, to identify and validate promising drug targets 
for some of the most challenging diseases.”

Based in Reykjavik, Iceland, deCODE is a global leader in human genetics. Using 
its unique expertise and population resources, deCODE has discovered genetic 
risk factors for dozens of common diseases. One of the purposes of 
understanding the genetics of disease is to use it to invent new means of 
diagnosing, treating and preventing disease. deCODE is a wholly-owned 
subsidiary of Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN). 

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SOURCE:  deCODE genetics