Gene Express, Inc. has announced its participation in the Micro Array Quality Control (MAQC) Consortium, assembled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate microarray and alternative gene expression platforms and to establish quality control parameters.
Other members of the consortium include scientists from six FDA centers, the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, leading academic institutions, major manufacturers of microarrays and/or quantitative gene expression measurement technologies, including Affymetrix, Inc., GE Healthcare, Applied Biosystems, Agilent Technologies Inc., Eppendorf AG, Genospectra, Inc. and Illumina, Inc. and major users of these technologies, including Biogen Idec Inc. and Novartis AG.
The members meet regularly to exchange data analysis results and determine future objectives.
To date, the MAQC team has measured differential gene expression between two diverse RNA samples with seven microarray platforms and three quantitative platforms.
The resulting data sets will be used to assess the precision, as well as cross-platform and cross-laboratory correlation of multiple technologies.
Gene Express is participating by conducting analysis of the samples with its StaRT-PCR™ (Standardized Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction) technology.
Dr. James Willey, Chief Scientific and Medical Consultant for Gene Express, stated, "StaRTPCR is providing calibrated, numerical transcript abundance values."
"We are the only platform supplying data that have these characteristics. The information we are contributing will provide the microarray and other quantitative platforms with a reference point by which to compare their results."
"This will help standardize the field of gene expression analysis and expand the market for everyone in this business segment."
Gerald Vardzel, CEO of Gene Express said, "We are honored to be included in this important group of institutions developing standards for quality control and data analysis of microarray diagnostics."
"The selection of our technology for inclusion in this study further validates its value as both a stand-alone technology and one compatible with other platforms in the market."