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Almac and Affymetrix Announce a Global Distribution Agreement for Almac’s Xcel™ Array

Published: Friday, March 30, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, March 30, 2012
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Xcel™ array optimized for RNA expression profiling from FFPE samples.

Almac has announced that it has signed an exclusive global distribution deal with Affymetrix, Inc. enabling them to directly sell Almac’s proprietary Xcel™ array for biomarker discovery, development and delivery worldwide.

Almac’s Xcel™ array is a high density transcriptome-based microarray that has been optimized for the discovery and development of biomarkers from formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue.

Designed by Almac and built on the industry standard Affymetrix’ GeneChip® platform, the content of Xcel™ array has been derived from high quality sequence data, as well as mining public gene expression and sequence databases.

The array contains more content than all currently available 3` microarrays, with over 97,000 transcripts including antisense, non-coding transcripts and significant unique content.

Working with FFPE enables the potential to profile retrospective samples in tissue banks, a highly valuable resource.

Standard practice is to collect patient samples and store in FFPE and the ability to unlock information from these samples will rapidly increase the discovery opportunities in personalized medicine.

Further to this, translating these discoveries into the clinic on an FFPE platform will drive the commercialization of these biomarkers.

The substantial content on Almac’s Xcel™ array ensures that the platform technology is ideally suited for research in cross-disease areas, a notable advantage to pharmaceutical companies.

It has also been designed to include all of the content from the Affymetrix’ GeneChip® Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array, enabling simple transfer and continuation of existing research.

Kevin Cannon, PhD, Expression Business Lead at Affymetrix commented: “Almac’s Xcel™ array with its superior design and content derived from multiple cancer types provides an ideal microarray for gene expression profiling from FFPE tissues, unlocking previously inaccessible genetic content for translational research. Researchers now have the ability to carry out retrospective studies for discovery and validation of gene expression biomarkers and translate them into clinical practices. This array represents a significant technology advancement, and combined with Genisphere’s Sensation™ reagents address a much needed FFPE workflow solution for gene expression profiling and biomarker discovery.”

Vice President of Business Development of Almac’s Diagnostics Business Unit, Michael Sloan commented: “We are very pleased to have entered into this 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 clients. This distribution deal with Affymetrix will enable more researchers to see the benefit of the platform.”

Affymetrix will officially launch the Almac Xcel™ array at this year’s AACR annual meeting in Chicago.

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