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Agilent Expands Microarray Technology Agreement to NCI Extramural Researchers

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Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced the extension of its technology access program to National Cancer Institute (NCI) extramural researchers. The NCI funds approximately 4,500 research grants a year.

NCI extramural researchers can now obtain Agilent's microarray solutions for comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), ChIP-on-chip (also known as location analysis), and gene expression under the agreement.

NCI's intramural Center for Cancer Research (CCR) already has access to the Agilent microarray technology.

"The NCI's goal is to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer by 2015, and growing numbers of researchers realize that this can't be achieved using gene expression data alone," said Fran DiNuzzo, Agilent Life Science and Chemical Analysis vice president and general manager, Integrated Biology Solutions.

"We're focused on providing the genomics tools to help scientists study pathways from multiple perspectives, link applications with well-designed bioinformatics systems, and thus reach useful discoveries faster."

A paper in the December 2004 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) demonstrates that oligonucleotide arrays designed for CGH provide a platform for detecting chromosomal alterations with high sensitivity, even in complex samples such as those used by oncology investigators.

ChIP-on-chip is an emerging microarray application for determining where proteins bind to regulatory regions of DNA.

The September 2005 issue of Cell published a paper by professor Richard Young's laboratory at the Whitehead Institute, validating the effectiveness of this technique by examining key transcriptional regulators of stem cells.

The prior month's issue described the utility of location analysis in producing high-resolution maps of histone acetylation and methylation in yeast.

This technique is important, as changes in chromatin structure play an important role in the silencing of certain genes in cancer, and histone deacetylase inhibitors have demonstrated anti-cancer effect.

"We observe very impressive enrichment upon immunoprecipitation with these microarrays, and the dynamic range of the signal in the IP channel is excellent - the background signal is extremely low," said Dr. Brian Dynlacht, director of Genomics Program for New York University's Cancer Institute.

The technology access program includes Agilent reagents, catalog and custom microarrays, instrumentation, and software.

In addition to providing promotional pricing, the program encourages broad publication of scientific results.

It is designed to facilitate collaborations between academic, governmental and commercial researchers.