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Affymetrix and Iconix Co-Develop Toxicogenomics Research Tool

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Affymetrix Inc. and Iconix Biosciences have announced the launch of the ToxFX™ Analysis Suite, a toxicogenomics solution that is designed to improve researchers’ understanding of safety issues associated with drug candidates, compounds or environmental toxicants.

ToxFX, which combines Iconix’ automated analysis with Affymetrix’ GeneChip® arrays, helps scientists prioritize drug candidates and make preclinical development decisions.

Obtaining a full compound safety profile using classical toxicology methods requires a series of individual assays that take weeks or months to perform.

The entire ToxFX analysis process can be completed in as little as three days following sample collection, and the report itself is generated and transmitted to the investigator’s desktop within minutes after the experiment is finished.

"We have consistently heard from the toxicology community that analysis of the data is the single largest barrier to applying toxicogenomics as a standard screening tool in drug development programs," said Don Halbert, Ph.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Iconix Biosciences.

"The ToxFX Analysis Suite offers the distilled toxicogenomic experience of our specialized Iconix scientists and the context of our comprehensive DrugMatrix reference data set in an easy-to-use and affordable product."

"This will help scientists prioritize drug candidates and make preclinical development decisions quickly and with more relevant information than ever before."

A full Affymetrix UserForum interview about the ToxFX Analysis Suite with Iconix’ Kurt Jarnagin, Ph.D., and Affymetrix’ Iain Russell, Ph.D. is available online.

The ToxFX Analysis Suite was developed to accelerate the process of obtaining a full compound safety profile by detecting a drug’s toxicity at the molecular level.

The ToxFX Analysis Suite generates a safety profile that can diagnose or predict 50 toxicological outcomes.

It also examines the gene expression changes in 22 of the relevant biological pathways, offering understanding of the potential underlying mechanisms of toxicity.

"Affymetrix has been working with Iconix Biosciences for the past year to co-develop the ToxFX Analysis Suite, which will revolutionize the drug development process," said Chip Leveille, vice president of the Pharmaceutical Business Unit at Affymetrix.

"The ToxFX Analysis Suite combines Affymetrix’ gold standard microarray technology with Iconix’ expert toxicology database and analytical reports."

"This is an easy-to-use tool that will help accelerate research and improve the quality of drug candidates."

The ToxFX Analysis Suite is a direct result of the collaborative agreement that Affymetrix and Iconix signed in February 2006.

Together, Affymetrix’ GeneChip expression arrays and Iconix’ automated analysis provide detailed information on a drug candidate’s toxicological liabilities and pharmacological properties.

Researchers perform the molecular analysis by generating gene expression data from rat samples on either the GeneChip Rat ToxFX 1.0 Array or the Rat Genome 230 2.0 Array.

The data are then compared to the Iconix Drug Signatures® and pathway response libraries and cross-referenced to identify matches to known toxicological responses.

A toxicity profile report is then generated for the compound based on this information.