Almac and Affymetrix Announce a Global Distribution Agreement for Almac’s Xcel™ Array

March 29, 2012

Xcel™ array optimized for RNA expression profiling from Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) samples

Almac today announced that it has signed an exclusive global distribution deal with Affymetrix, Inc.  enabling them to directly sell Almac’s proprietary Xcel™ array for biomarker discovery, development and delivery worldwide.

Almac’s Xcel™ array is a high density transcriptome-based microarray that has been optimized for the discovery and development of biomarkers from formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue. Designed by Almac and built on the industry standard Affymetrix’ GeneChip® platform, the content of Xcel™ array has been derived from high quality sequence data, as well as mining public gene expression and sequence databases.

The array contains more content than all currently available 3` microarrays, with over 97,000 transcripts including antisense, non-coding transcripts and significant unique content. Working with FFPE enables the potential to profile retrospective samples in tissue banks, a highly valuable resource.

Standard practice is to collect patient samples and store in FFPE and the ability to unlock information from these samples will rapidly increase the discovery opportunities in personalized medicine. Further to this, translating these discoveries into the clinic on an FFPE platform will drive the commercialization of these biomarkers.

The substantial content on Almac’s Xcel™ array ensures that the platform technology is ideally suited for research in cross-disease areas, a notable advantage to pharmaceutical companies. It has also been designed to include all of the content from the Affymetrix’ GeneChip® Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array, enabling simple transfer and continuation of existing research.

Kevin Cannon, PhD, Expression Business Lead at Affymetrix commented:

Almac’s Xcel™ array with its superior design and content derived from multiple cancer types provides an ideal microarray for gene expression profiling from FFPE tissues, unlocking previously inaccessible genetic content for translational research. Researchers now have the ability to carry out retrospective studies for discovery and validation of gene expression biomarkers and translate them into clinical practices. This array represents a significant technology advancement, and combined with Genisphere’s Sensation™ reagents address a much needed FFPE workflow solution for gene expression profiling and biomarker discovery.

Vice President of Business Development of Almac’s Diagnostics Business Unit, Michael Sloan commented:

“We are very pleased to have entered into this agreement with Affymetrix. The Xcel™ array has proven to be extremely useful in our hands for biomarker discovery both for our in-house R&D and for our clients. This distribution deal with Affymetrix will enable more researchers to see the benefit of the platform.”

Affymetrix will officially launch the Almac Xcel™ array at this year’s AACR annual meeting in Chicago.

Ends….

Notes to Editors

About Almac

Almac’s Diagnostics business unit is focused on the discovery and development of biomarkers. It utilizes its proprietary technology, extensive experience and expertise to offer solutions to biotech and Pharma partners. Almac focus on providing a range of services including exploratory biomarker discovery studies, verification studies for existing markers, assay development and biomarker validation.

The Almac Group provides a broad range of services from R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply and IXRS® technology (IVRS/IWRS), to commercial-scale manufacture. Almac provides services to more than 600 companies, including all the world leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.  The company employs over 3,300 individuals and is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California.

For more information about the Almac Group, please visit www.almacgroup.com or e-mail info@almacgroup.com

About Affymetrix     

Affymetrix technology is used by the world’s top pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and biotechnology companies, as well as leading academic, government, and non-profit research institutes. More than 25,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published using the technology. Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., and has manufacturing facilities in Santa Clara, Cleveland, Ohio, and Singapore. The company has about 900 employees worldwide and maintains sales and distribution operations across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. For more information about Affymetrix, please visit http://www.affymetrix.com.

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