Another day and another deal for Pfizer, this time involving a lupus collaboration with Iceland's deCode genetics.

The collaboration will seek to discover "sequence variants associated with specific clinical phenotypes related to systemic lupus erythematosis by utilizing the Reykjavik-based firm's expertise in gene discovery. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Over the next 18 months, deCode and Pfizer will work together to analyse the genomes of patients to search for genetic variations that would be useful for understanding and discovering drug targets, that may ultimately lead to companion diagnostics.

deCode chief executive Kari Stefansson said that "our research platform allows us to understand the genetic basis of disease and modifiers of clinical phenotypes in actual patient populations". He added that by doing so, "we can rapidly move from targets to patient stratification and from there to companion diagnostics."

The deal is particularly good news for Dr Stefansson's firm which has had a tough time in the past few years. It filed for bankruptcy in November 2009 but in January 2010 it became a private company after being taken over by Saga Investments, a consortium that includes Polaris Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners. The original firm was founded in 1996 and created a database of genetic and medical information, including 140,000 Icelanders.