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ABI Launches Customized SNP Assay Program, Says Will Commercialize the Genome

SAN DIEGO, October 25 - Applied Biosystems has said it will introduce a new Assays-by-Design service at the three-day Genome Sequencing and Analysis Conference that kicks off here today.
The new service is intended to provide customized and quality-validated assays for SNP genotyping and gene expression studies. The company said that the new service is the first phase of an Applera-wide program to "commercialize the genome" and that it intends to develop and market validated assays for every human gene and gene variant and for 200,000 human SNPs.

"We anticipate that the new Assays-by-Design service will save customers the substantial time, money, and manual labor that home-brew assay design requires, thereby enabling a new level of high throughput, low-cost SNP genotyping or gene-expression research studies," Dennis Gilbert, ABI's vice president for Genomics Applications, said in a statement.

Gilbert said the company has already received orders for the new customized assays from major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and has delivered more than 12,000 assays to its own test sites.

Customers will submit human or nonhuman target DNA sequences, including the SNP or exon locations. Applied Biosystems will use a new set of algorithms to develop primer and probe sequence, and then test all assays analytically to ensure that they meet design specs. Ready-to-use, 5' nuclease assay-based TaqMan minor groove binder probes are delivered in a tube with a two-dimensional bar code.

ABI said it has expanded its assay development operations to 27,000 square feet of manufacturing space among three new US and UK sites, and that the next phase of its genome-commercialization effort will be an Assays-on-Demand program, to be launched months from now.






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