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Employment Contract - Islensk Erfdagreining ehf. and Sigurdur Ingibergur Bjornsson

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Islensk erfdagreining ehf., State Reg. No. 691295-3549, (IE) and Sigurdur
Ingibergur Bjornsson, Id. No. 300863-4859, ("the Employee") hereby enter into
the following

                               EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT


The Employee is hired to work as Vice President and CEO of the Health-Care
Database for IE. The workplace is the Employer's base of operations at Lynghals
1, Reykjavik, but if the Employer's base of operations in Reykjavik changes or
increases in number, the Employee agrees to a change in his workplace.

The field of work covers all aspects in relation to the definition, installation
and operation of the projected centralised Health-Care Database. All deviation
from this definition shall be subject to the approval of the Employee and IE.

The immediate superior of the Employee shall be the President and CEO of IE.

Islensk erfdagreining ehf. plans to establish an independent subsidiary company
for the operation of the centralised Database, upon which the Employee will
become the president of that company.

The Employee shall have the right to serve on boards of directors of other
companies, provided that such membership is not detrimental to the operation of
IE or the Employee's ability to perform his duties.


The Employee's working hours shall be determined by the requirements of projects
at any time. The Employee has the right, within reasonable limits, to arrange
his working hours as he sees fit.


The Employee shall receive the following remuneration for his work:

         o Fixed monthly wages in the amount of ISK 750,000 or 9,000,000 per
         year. No separate payments shall be made for overtime work, and the
         above payment shall be a payment in full to the Employee for his work
         during the year.

         o The Employee shall receive an option to buy to 120,000 shares in
         deCODE genetics Inc., the parent company of IE. The purchase price of
         each share shall be $4. The Employee shall acquire this right for a
         period of four years, so that in each year he shall have the right to
         buy 1/4 of the above shares. However, one year shall elapse before he
         acquires the above right, after which the right shall accumulate on a
         monthly basis.

         o The Employee shall be entitled to a performance-related bonus
         payment, to be decided by a special Compensation Committee. The amount
         of such a bonus shall be variable, but could amount to 20-40% of the
         annual wages of the Employee.

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         o The Employee shall pay a contribution amounting to 4% of his total
         wages to a pension fund of his own choice, and the Employer shall pay
         6% of the same amount.

         o Other fringe benefits shall be in accordance with those enjoyed by
         comparable directors of IE.


The Agreement may be terminated by either party with six-months' notice.
However, the Agreement shall not be terminated by IE until 31 December 1999,
from which time the termination shall not take effect until 1 July 2000. In the
event that the Employee terminates the Agreement before 31 December 1999, IE
shall, however, only be obligated to fulfil its obligations pursuant to this
Agreement for six months immediately following the date of termination.


In the event that the Employee has an accident at work, the Employer shall pay
for the transport of the Employee home or to hospital and, for each instance,
reimburse him for up to four weeks of normal, out-of-pocket medical expenses
which are not covered by district health insurance or Social Security.

In each instance of an accident at work or a work-related illness caused on the
job or by it, or occurring during transport to and from the workplace, the
Employer shall pay up to three months' wages according to the Employee's wage
scale in effect when the accident or illness occurs, provided that per diem
benefits paid for these days by the State Social Security Institute and/or the
district health insurance are paid to the Employer. The provisions of this
paragraph shall not prejudice any additional rights which the Employee may have
under the law.

Wage payments to the Employee during absences due to illness shall be arranged
in the first year so that two days are paid for each month worked. When the
Employee has worked for the Employer for one year or longer, wage payments
during absences due to illness shall be arranged as follows: after one year, two
months for every 12 months; after five years of work for the Employer, four
months for every 12 months; and after 10 years working for the Employer, six
months for every 12 months.

If an Employee becomes ill and for this reason cannot attend work, he shall
immediately notify his superior, who shall decide whether a health certificate
shall be requested. The certificate shall be from a consulting physician if so
requested. The Employer shall pay for the health certificate if the above
conditions are met.

After the first month at work a parent shall, without any deduction from wages,
be entitled to spend a total of seven workdays of every 12-month period in
ministering to his ill children under the age of 13, provided that other care
cannot be procured.

The Employer shall insure the Employee against death and permanent or temporary
disability caused be an accident while at work or while travelling a normal
route between his home and the workplace.

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If, because of his work, the Employee has accommodations away from his home, the
accommodations replace his home, but the insurance shall also cover normal trips
between his home and these accommodations.

Compensation for death will be (as of 1 Jan. 1998):

1.       If the deceased was not married and is not survived by a child and has
         not been supporting an aged parent 67 years of age or older, ISK

2.       If the deceased was not married but is survived by a child (children)
         under 17 and/or has demonstrably supported an aged parent or parents
         (aged 67 or older), ISK 1,083,500.

3.       If the deceased was married, the compensation to the spouse shall be
         ISK 1,479,700.

4.       If the deceased is survived by a child (adopted child, foster child)
         under 17 years of age, for each child ISK 284,800.

5.       Compensation is paid under only one of sub-paragraphs no. 1, 2 or 3.

In addition to sub-paragraphs 2 and 3, compensation may be paid under
sub-paragraph 4.

The beneficiaries of death compensation provisions are:

1)       Legal heirs.

2)       Relevant parties equally

3)       Surviving spouse.

4)       Relevant children, but paid to surviving spouse if he/she is one of the
         parents, or to an executor and/or trustee.

Compensation for permanent disability is paid in proportion to the insurance
amount of ISK 2,589,000 so that each degree of disability from 26% to 50% is
counted double, and each degree of disability from 51% to 100% works triple.

For temporary disability, per diem benefits of ISK 5,884 are paid per week four
weeks after the accident occurred and until the injured person becomes able to
work, although for no more than 48 weeks. ISK 785 per week are added to the per
diem for each child under the age of 17 that the injured person is supporting.

The amounts of insurance will be reviewed twice a year, 1 January and 1 July,
and increased in correspondence with changes in the cost-of-living index.

The insurance takes effect as soon as the Employee begins work and expires as
soon as he stops working.

The policy terms of the insurance shall be the general policy terms in effect
for wage earner job accident insurance at the Association of Icelandic Insurance
Companies at the time of signature of this Employment Contract.

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In the event that the Employer becomes liable for damages in respect of the
Employee, accident compensation and per diem benefits paid to the Employee under
provisions of this Employment Contract shall be fully deductible from any
damages that the Employer may be made to pay. While the payment of wages
continues, per diem benefits shall be paid to the Employer.


The Employee fills a job involving responsibility and confidentiality for the
Employer. He shall maintain the utmost confidentiality about whatever he has
become aware of in his job regarding the Employer and the Employer's customers,
and which can damage the interests of these parties. Due to the nature of his
work, the Employee is under obligation to handle all information, documents and
data to which he has access in his work with the utmost confidentiality. This
confidentiality continues in force after termination of employment.

While the Employee works for the Employer and for one (1) year thereafter, the
Employee shall not encourage any of the Employer's Employees to leave the
employment of Employer.

If the Employee quits working for the Employer, he undertakes not to accept work
either directly or indirectly at competing companies or with other competing
parties, or to start up or join such operations for at least two years after
termination of employment.


Concurrently with the signing of this Employment Contract, the Employer and
Employee enter into an agreement on proprietary information and inventions. That
agreement is deemed a premise for and part of this Employment Contract.

Reykjavik, 15 January

On behalf of Islensk erfdagreining
Kari Stefansson [sign.]                    Sigurdur Ingibergur Bjornsson [sign.]