RoboHTC is an integrated hardware and informatics solution for designing, generating, imaging, storing and annotating protein crystallization experiments

Reykjavik, ICELAND, April 8, 2003 — deCODE genetics (Nasdaq/Nasdaq Europe:DCGN) today announced that AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement to purchase deCODE’s RoboHTC™ automated protein crystallography platform.

RoboHTC™ is a robotics and informatics platform that accelerates and enhances the drug development process by enabling high-throughput generation, storage, and analysis of the crystals of target proteins and protein-ligand complexes. It allows drug discovery teams to efficiently design, screen, annotate and store large numbers of crystallization experiments, thereby ultimately reducing the time and cost involved understanding the three-dimensional structure of protein targets and potential new drugs. deCODE will be integrating its RoboHTC™ hardware and its Crystal Monitor™ informatics solution into the discovery infrastructure at AstraZeneca’s drug discovery sites in Alderley Park, England, and Mölndal, Sweden. Financial details were not disclosed.

At the heart of the of the RoboHTC™ system are the Matrix Maker™ and Microscope Workstation™ robots, together with Crystal Monitor™ software. All three components are developed and marketed by deCODE’s Seattle-based biostructures group. The Matrix Maker™ is a robotic liquid handler that can prepare a 96-well plate of novel crystallization solutions from a wide array of solvents and reagents in less than 30 minutes. The Microscope Workstation™ automatically captures color digital images of the crystals in each well through a stereo microscope. Crystal Monitor™ is the informatics system that links and drives the hardware, also acting as a central relational database for tracking results, storing target-related information and designing follow-up crystallization trials. The Crystal Monitor™ software will be adapted to drive and integrate third-party hardware including plate hotels and barcode printer/readers, and to integrate the RoboHTC™ solution with AstraZeneca’s existing IT and laboratory infrastructure.

“We are pleased to be working with AstraZeneca to apply our know-how and leading-edge products in structure-based drug design,” said Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE. “This agreement underscores the value being created by our biostructures group, both within our own drug discovery programs and through a growing range of corporate partnerships.”

“AstraZeneca has built a leading structure-based drug design capability which reflects the growing application and success of this technology in our ongoing projects,” said John Stageman, Vice President for Enabling Science & Technology in AstraZeneca. “The agreement is one of a series of new investments that will ensure efficient delivery of structural information at an early and influential stage into drug discovery projects.”

About deCODE

deCODE is using population genetics to create a new paradigm for healthcare. With its uniquely comprehensive population data, deCODE is turning research on the genetic causes of common diseases into a growing range of products and services — in gene and drug discovery, DNA-based diagnostics, pharmacogenomics, bioinformatics, and clinical trials. deCODE’s pharmaceuticals group, based in Chicago, and deCODE’s biostructures group, based in Seattle, conduct downstream development work on targets derived from deCODE’s proprietary research in human genetics as well as contract service work for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. deCODE is delivering on the promise of the new genetics.SM Visit us on the web at

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the top five pharmaceutical companies in the world with healthcare sales of over $17.8 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, oncology, anaesthesia (including pain management), cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory products. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global and European) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

Any statements contained in this presentation that relate to future plans, events or performance are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, those relating to technology and product development, integration of acquired businesses, market acceptance, government regulation and regulatory approval processes, intellectual property rights and litigation, dependence on collaborative relationships, ability to obtain financing, competitive products, industry trends and other risks identified in deCODE’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. deCODE undertakes no obligation to update or alter these forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.