Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX) today announced that it has signed a global distribution agreement with Almac Group Ltd., an established company that provides an extensive range of pharmaceutical services. In this agreement, Affymetrix has exclusive rights to distribute Almac’s Xcel™ array for research use in biomarker discovery for multiple disease areas, including cancer.
The Almac’s Xcel™ array is a microarray, built on the industry-standard Affymetrix’ GeneChip® Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array platform (RUO*), that has been optimized for RNA expression profiling from formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples.
Standard collection practice is to collect tissue samples and store them as FFPE samples. The ability to extract accurate and high-quality gene expression information from FFPE samples will have a significant impact in enabling new discovery and validation from this valuable tissue source.
“Almac’s Xcel™ array, with its superior design and content derived from multiple cancer types, is an ideal microarray for gene expression profiling from FFPE tissues, unlocking previously inaccessible genetic content for translational research,” said Kevin Cannon, PhD, Expression Business Lead at Affymetrix. “Researchers now have the ability to carry out retrospective studies for discovery and validation of gene expression biomarkers for translation into clinical practices. This array represents a significant technology advancement, and combined with Genisphere’s Sensation™ reagents addresses a much needed FFPE workflow solution for gene expression profiling and biomarker discovery.”
Almac’s Xcel™ array contains over 97,000 transcripts, including all of the Affymetrix’ GeneChip® Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array content, updated RefSeq content, and substantially new content such as long non-coding and endogenous antisense transcripts. The inclusion of all of the content from GeneChip Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array allows cross-mapping between existing data sets and new data generated from the Xcel™ array. The substantial and high quality content on the Xcel™ array ensures that the platform technology is ideally suited for research in cross-disease areas.
“We are very pleased to have entered into this distribution agreement with Affymetrix. The Xcel™ array has proven to be extremely useful in our hands for biomarker discovery, both for our in-house R&D and for our research clients. This agreement with Affymetrix enables more researchers to derive benefit from the platform for their translational research,” said Michael Sloan, Vice President of Business Development of Almac Diagnostics.
Affymetrix will officially launch the Xcel™ array at the AACR 2012 annual meeting in Chicago, March 31 – April 3.
* = For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
Almac’s Diagnostics business unit is focused on the discovery and development of biomarkers. It utilizes its proprietary technology, extensive experience and expertise to offer solutions to biotech and Pharma partners. Almac focuses on providing a range of services including exploratory biomarker discovery studies, verification studies for existing markers, assay development, and biomarker validation.
The Almac Group provides a broad range of services from R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply and IXRS® technology (IVRS/IWRS), to commercial-scale manufacture. Almac provides services to more than 600 companies, including all the world leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. The company employs over 3,300 individuals and is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California.
Affymetrix technology is used by the world's top pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and biotechnology companies, as well as leading academic, government, and nonprofit research institutes. More than 25,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published using the technology. Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., and has manufacturing facilities in Santa Clara, Cleveland, Ohio, and Singapore. The company has about 900 employees worldwide and maintains sales and distribution operations across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. For more information about Affymetrix, please visit http://www.affymetrix.com.
All statements in this press release that are not historical are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act as amended, including statements regarding Affymetrix' "expectations," "beliefs," "hopes," "intentions," "strategies" or the like. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially for Affymetrix from those projected. These and other risk factors are discussed in Affymetrix' Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and other SEC reports for subsequent quarterly periods.
PLEASE NOTE: Affymetrix, the Affymetrix logo, GeneChip, and all other trademarks are the property of Affymetrix, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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