Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Affy's True Materials Acquisition an Entry to Lower-Plex Markets


Since Affymetrix acquired startup True Materials for $25 million this summer, the company has offered few details about the microparticle technology it gained.

True Materials, founded by Randy True and originally located in incubator space at QB3, focused on using digitally encoded microparticles to enhance nucleic acid and protein analysis. In a call with analysts, Affy CEO Steve Fodor said, "[The] technology offers advantages over bead-based approaches, because it is much more scalable and cost effective. … The tests will have shorter processing times, simplified workflows, and use a minimal amount of sample." The technology will be well-suited to "multiplexing tests ranging from several to over 10,000 markers," he added.

Kevin King, Affy's president, said in the same call that this level of multiplexing is "a huge market that we essentially have no share today in, and we think we can gain entry into it pretty rapidly."

According to two patent applications submitted in 2006 by True, who is now a vice president of R&D at Affy, the glass microparticles are smaller than 50 µm, and are printed with a microbarcode using a stepwise lithography process.

Tom Willis, an investor in True Materials, says he helped "matchmake" the startup with Affy. "I think it's a great match for the technology," he adds.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.