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Affy, Arcturus to Co-develop Tools to Analyze Gene-Expression Data on Paraffin-Embedded Samples

NEW YORK, Dec. 4 (GenomeWeb News) - Affymetrix and Arcturus Bioscience plan to co-develop new tools to enable researchers to analyze gene-expression data on paraffin-embedded clinical biopsy samples, the firms said today.

Terms of the deal call for Arcturus Paradise reagents, which the company developed to extract and amplify RNA from paraffin-embedded tissues. These samples are suitable for use in gene expression analysis when used with Affy's new GeneChip human genome X3P array.

Over the past several decades, hospitals have been collecting millions of clinical tissue samples. Traditionally, the procedure for preserving these samples involves immersing the tissue in formalin and embedding it in paraffin wax. "Until now, researchers thought that this formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded preservation process destroyed, modified, or degraded the nucleic acids, specifically the DNA and RNA, in biopsy samples, precluding gene expression analysis," Affy and Arcturus said.


Through this collaboration, Affy's X3P array will enable researchers to study approximately 44,000 human gene transcripts in paraffin-embedded biopsy samples, according to Alan Dance, senior vice president of applications business unit at Affymetrix. He added that the X3P array "is specifically designed to detect shorter RNAs, which are common in these types of samples."

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