Affymetrix negotiated exclusive distribution rights to Almac Group’s Xcel™ array microarray, which has been developed for biomarker discovery applications in multiple therapeutic areas including cancer. Xcel array is built around Affymetrix’ research-use GeneChip® Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 array, and is optimized for RNA expression profiling from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples. The final Xcel array contains 97,000 transcripts, including all the U133 Plus 2.0 array transcripts, updated RefSeq content, and new content including long non-coding and endogenous antisense transcripts.
“This array represents a significant technology advancement, and combined with Genisphere’s Sensation™ reagents, addresses a much-needed FFPE workflow solution for gene-expression profiling and biomarker discovery,” comments Kevin Cannon, Ph.D., who heads Affymetrix’ expression business. “Researchers now have the ability to carry out retrospective studies for discovery and validation of gene expression biomarkers for translation into clinical practices.” The Genisphere Sensation whole transcriptome linear amplification kit is suitable for use with intact, degraded, or FFPE RNA samples.
Almac’s diagnostics business offers products and services for the discovery and development of biomarkers, and is developing an in-house pipeline of prognostic and predictive tests and improved cancer diagnostics. The firm’s range of services includes exploratory biomarker discovery, verification studies for existing markers, assay development, and biomarker validation.