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Affymetrix Introduces Axiom Transplant Genotyping Array for Genomic Profiling of Immune-Related Markers

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The array comprises ~ 780,000 markers, including over 30,000 variants that may contribute to transplant rejection or other complications. Researchers will also find the array useful in the study of immunology, disease and drug treatments; meta-analyses may be conducted, combining data with other genotype databases such as the UK Biobank cohort, a collection of more than 500,000 volunteers genotyped using the Affymetrix UK Biobank Axiom Array.  

Currently, selecting donors whose human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes are a good match with transplant recipients via HLA molecular typing is the standard of care. Research with this new transplant array focuses on finding additional transplant-related variants that will provide insight into early detection of graft-versus-host disease as well as genomic markers associated with metabolism of immunosuppressant drugs. In addition, Affymetrix Axiom HLA Analysis software enables affordable, high-throughput, accurate analysis of 11 classical loci at 4-digit resolution by imputing HLA type from Axiom array-generated genotype data. 

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“The combination of our high-fidelity Axiom array technology, powerful Axiom™ Analysis Suite, Axiom™ HLA Analysis software, and the ability to integrate patient data from the UK Biobank enables transplant genomic profiling on a scale that has not been seen before,” commented Laurent Bellon, Ph.D., senior vice president and general manager, Genotyping Business Unit at Affymetrix. “The application of these tools delivers a very cost-effective approach that can propel discovery with the potential to improve patient outcomes.”

Axiom Transplant Genotyping Array was developed and tested by the International Genetics and Translational Research in Transplantation Network (iGeneTRAiN), co-led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The team published two peer-reviewed publications in October about the project. 

“The genetic datasets we’ve put together in this project are by far the largest ever assembled in transplant genomics,” said Brendan J. Keating, DPhil, a research assistant professor of Transplant Surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “Prior to the development of this array, it was not possible to look at all of these markers together.” 

Affymetrix contributed an additional set of ~350,000 SNPs for Caucasian-European and non-European populations to improve the mean coverage achieved in major ethnicities, including African and Asian, as well as a significant amount of content from various functional modules of the Axiom Genomic Database. These SNPs were chosen with the goal of creating comprehensive overlap with existing data being generated using UK Biobank Axiom Array and Axiom Biobank Genotyping Array, to enable joint- or meta-analyses of samples genotyped with these tools as well as other conventional GWAS tools.