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Affymetrix Launches Program to Advance Cancer Research

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Affymetrix Inc. has announced the launch of the Collaborations in Cancer Research Program, an alliance between Affymetrix and up to 30 European cancer researchers.

As part of the program, Affymetrix will partially fund selected research projects that demonstrate clinical utility, enabling participants to develop new approaches to elucidate cancer mechanisms and to accelerate discoveries in more than 10 different forms of cancer.

The studies selected for the Collaborations in Cancer Research Program incorporate a number of different microarray-based applications, including copy number analysis, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), gene expression and splicing pattern analysis.

In addition to helping participants obtain tools and training, Affymetrix will also provide forums where investigators can exchange knowledge and share best practices.

Participants in the Collaborations in Cancer Research Program were selected on the basis of past contributions to their respective fields, and the potential to make significant advancements in their current research.

Many researchers in the program are exploring the cancer genome with integrated approaches made possible by the Affymetrix platform. The ability to combine information from gene expression profiling, copy number alterations, alternative splicing and gene regulation is pivotal to understanding the molecular basis of cancer.

"It's a big advantage that all of these experiments can be done on compatible platforms," said James Reid, Ph.D., a staff scientist working alongside Marco Pierotti, Ph.D., who is the scientific director of the National Institute of Tumors IRCSS Foundation in Milan. Dr. Pierotti's group is studying changes in DNA copy number and mRNA alternative splicing as they relate to mutations associated with the development of colon cancer.

Additional researchers in the Collaborations in Cancer Research Program are exploring leukemia, as well as cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, thyroid, bladder, skin and others. The results of the participating studies will be showcased to the cancer community at an Affymetrix-sponsored European cancer meeting in the second half of 2007.

Later this year, Affymetrix will expand the Collaborations in Cancer Research Program to selected groups in North America and Japan.

"Affymetrix is committed to furthering developments in science and medicine by working with leading scientists to accelerate cancer research," said Ruby Gadelrab, senior market development manager at Affymetrix and director of the program.

"We are honored to partner with these world-renowned cancer researchers, and we hope that their work will facilitate potential breakthroughs by developing and demonstrating novel approaches to cancer genomics’” Gadelrab added.