Affymetrix launches platform for next-generation genotyping

20 October 2009

Affymetrix, Inc. (Nasdaq:AFFX) has launched the Axiom Genotyping Solution, its next-generation array technology designed to match the significant rise in genetic content generated by government and privately funded sequencing projects.

This high-throughput, automated platform enables researchers to find novel genetic variations associated with complex disease.

The Axiom Solution will support both whole-genome association and candidate gene association studies with a level of customization not currently available. Researchers will no longer be constrained by the content of fixed-panel arrays. The complete genotyping platform employs enzyme-mediated, single-base sequencing steps for specificity in conjunction with affordable, reproducible, and highly automated workflows.

The solution is configured to continually validate and incorporate the output of large-scale sequencing projects. Initial offerings are designed from public databases of human variations and cover historical HapMap data supplemented by subsequent releases of additional variants.

In addition, Affymetrix is screening millions of putative SNPs and insertions/deletions that are being discovered by the 1000 Genomes Project and other sources, and will make these available to researchers using the Axiom Solution.

“Axiom technology has the capability to routinely screen, validate, and convert sequence variants into high-throughput assays,” said Dr. Keith Jones, vice president of assay and application development at Affymetrix. “A major strength of this new solution is the assay that allows random access to the genome, coupled with the accuracy of a highly specific, ligation-based approach.”

The solution consists of Axiom Array Plates, complete Axiom Reagent Kits, and an automated target preparation station developed jointly by Affymetrix and Beckman Coulter, and the GeneTitan Multi-Channel (MC) Instrument. The GeneTitan MC Instrument integrates a hybridization oven, fluidics processing, CCD imaging device, and analysis software for maximum data reproducibility, user productivity, and scalability.

With a single platform and as few as one-and-a-half full-time technicians, a laboratory can process more than 750 samples per week with unmatched, minimal user intervention. The first commercial products from this offering will support genome-wide association studies and are expected to be delivered to customers this month.

“The Axiom Solution is a revolution in customer choice and takes advantage of a technology model similar to the digital media industry,” said Kevin King, president and CEO of Affymetrix. “Pre-selected, store-bought music and video content have given way to powerful online digital databases that offer customers maximum flexibility. Researchers can now create their own 'playlist' in the form of custom arrays that deliver maximum scientific value to their research.”

Affymetrix will also offer Axiom Genotyping Services through the Affymetrix Research Services Laboratory (ARSL), which has run more than 250,000 genotyping samples to date, including a large portion of the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium.


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