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Agilent and Paradigm Genetics to Develop Arabidopsis Genome Chip

NEW YORK, Oct. 29 — Agilent Technologies and Paradigm Genetics announced a deal on Monday to develop a microarray of the whole genome of Arabidopsis thaliana

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Agilent will design, manufacture, distribute and sell the microarray. Paradigm will provide gene function expertise. The two companies plan to have the product ready for market by the end of the year. 

By the terms of the deal, Paradigm will receive volume discounts on the microarrays and royalties from cooperatively developed products.  Paradigm, a publicly-owned company based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., specializes in commercializing gene function discoveries. This microarray will be its first product.

The project represents the first in a series of microarrays that Paradigm plans to commercialize with Agilent, said Athanasios Maroglou, Paradigm vice president for project management. Other planned projects include the human, mouse and rat genomes.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The microarray is designed for use in gene expression studies of Arabidopsis, which is probably the best characterized plant genome. Applications include agricultural biotechnology and comparative genomics.

“It will have specific agricultural uses, but the whole Arabidopsis research community will be using it,” said Maroglou. “Forty-seven percent of the genes in Arabidopsis find homologues in human, mouse or rat. From a functional understanding of Arabidopsis, you can learn a lot about other organisms, also.”  

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