Details on the future of the deCODEme service

I was just sent this email by a deCODEme customer:

As a valued subscriber to deCODEme, we wanted to write to you directly to
let you know about some important developments in the company and how we
believe these will underpin our ability to continue to keep you in the
forefront of understanding what the latest advances in genetics mean to you.

For the past several months, deCODE has been working on restructuring its
operations. One of the principal goals of this effort has been to enable us to
find new investment that will continue our work in human genetics and to offer
to our customers the products and services that are based upon our expertise
and capabilities. Today we have announced concrete steps in that direction.
This morning deCODE genetics, Inc. filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11
protection in the United States. At the same time, there has also been filed
with the court an offer by Saga Investments LLC to purchase deCODE's Icelandic
subsidiary, Islensk Erfdagreining (IE). IE, which is not declaring bankruptcy,
carries out all of deCODE's human genetics work and and provides deCODEme.

We believe this offer provides a firm foundation for continuing to offer you
the same path breaking science and service you expect from deCODEme. Saga is
led by Polaris Venture Partners and Arch Venture Partners, two leading
technology investors who were involved in the founding of deCODE. While other
higher bids may be made for IE under the Chapter 11 process, this offer, even
if no others are forthcoming, provides resources for us to continue operations
without interruption during the Chapter 11 proceedings, and would provide up
front funds sufficient to support operations for two years
. With the filing
today, deCODE has also asked the Court for the customary authority to continue
to manage its operations and serve its customers during the proceedings. [my emphasis]

For this reason, we do not expect this to have any impact on your deCODEme
account. As ever, our commitment at deCODEme is to keep you in the forefront of
progress in understanding the human genome and what it means for you and your
health.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with our
customer support team if you have any questions.  

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"we do not expect this to have any impact on your deCODEme account"

This is bad news because it means that deCODEme isn't going to deliver any more reports, not because existing reports would no longer be available on the web. It costs almost nothing to continue hosting a few thousand web pages on a website.

By Andrew Yates (not verified) on 17 Nov 2009 #permalink

well just a few days ago 23andme announced a change if their pricing system, essentially raising to $499 what had been $399, but also offering "crippled" services

one can't help but wondering if a reduction in competition results almost automatically in higher prices?

By Mark Jensen (not verified) on 17 Nov 2009 #permalink

Well.... guess what? It looks like deCODEme is still going strong.

I have a deCODEme account and they just added a neat new feature, allowing customers who have 23andMe genetic data to "migrate" their data into deCODEme - and see the difference a million SNPs make. http://www.decodeme.com/data-upload

Cool....even if it is for a limited time only.