A multi-million government investment lost its value in the takeover deal announced yesterday.
Genuity Science, a company that famously had the goal of collecting the DNA of 400,000 Irish people, has acquired HiberCell, a US-based biotechnology company, in a deal announced yesterday.
The private genomics company, formerly Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI), has been in national news in recent years because consent disagreementsAnd Remittances with the government And Cut ties with its Chinese operations.
Despite researchers’ campaign for the Public Genome Project, the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), run by a government agency the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), has invested millions in gravity sciences.
Genuity Science is the main company involved in DNA sequencing in Ireland and conducts clinical testing as well as research in several Irish hospitals. It is also involved in undergraduate research across Ireland and has a significant collaboration agreement with University College Dublin, which Noticeable Obtained by Freedom of Information last year.
A spokesperson said Noticeable That « ISIF has invested 66 million euros in gravity sciences so far ». This consists of an investment of €5 million in 2016, followed by another €61 million in 2018.
After the acquisition, we asked ISIF how much profit or loss the Irish state made on this deal. The spokesperson said they “do not disclose the value of private investments because this information is commercially sensitive,” but added:
However, the company’s valuation has been negatively affected by the global pandemic and its exposure to geopolitical events.
ISIF has also confirmed that it is now a shareholder in HiberCell after acquiring all shares in Genuity Science. An ISIF spokesperson said:
« This acquisition represents the best opportunity to maximize future value for the company and maintain its operations in Ireland. »
selling our genes
in a A major investigation last yearAnd Noticeable cooperated with business mail He revealed that Genuity Science has at least 25 links to facilities across Ireland. This includes funding and collaborations with major hospitals, universities, research facilities and charities.
It also found that hospital doctors have become « agents of a company » due to the nature of the agreements made, according to experts and researchers making the « best of the situation » in Ireland by working with the private sector but Most of them prefer a generic system Because of data access concerns.
Our business mail Colleagues on the investigation team also revealed the data protection commissioner is Engaged in « widespread compliance and supervision » with Genuity Science following concerns about approval of research studies.
The SELLING OUR GENES investigation can be read in full over here.
Concerns about privacy and access to Genuity Science’s Irish people’s DNA databases surfaced again after the acquisition was announced.
The lack of appropriate government policy and regulation means that private companies have no limits on how long they have exclusive access to the data they collect from Irish patients.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Genuity Science Ireland said it would « continue to work [its] The Genomics Laboratory and Genome Database Infrastructure at its facility in Ireland.” They added:
« There will be no change in Genuity Science (Ireland) Limited’s continued control of its genome research databases. »
According to a statement on my website ethnology And HiberCellThe acquisition of HiberCell’s Genuity Science stock provides approximately $100 million in cash, in addition to existing partnership agreements with Ionis and AbbVie.
Under the terms of the agreement, Genuity Science and both its subsidiaries – in Iceland and Ireland – « will become a wholly owned subsidiary of HiberCell ».
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