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APB Sells Sniper System to U. of Washington

NEW YORK, Nov 16 – Amersham Pharmacia Biotech said Thursday it has sold a Sniper SNP analysis system to the University of Washington under an early access agreement.

As part of the agreement, APB will provide support for the system and train University of Washington researchers in how to use it. This early road testing of the Sniper can help APB work out any potential kinks in the system to validate it, while providing researchers with access to the latest technology.

The Sniper system, which APB introduced at the American Society for Human Genetics 2000 meeting in October, is a high-throughput SNP screening system that can analyze up to 50,000 genotypes per day. With the addition of imaging technology, APB says the machine will be able to score up to 500,000 SNPs per day.  

APB has promoted the Sniper as a more affordable alternative to existing SNP scoring technology, because it uses rolling circle amplification, a supposedly cheaper and faster alternative to PCR.

University of Washington molecular biology researcher Deborah Nickerson will use the system in a study to validate allele variations in the angiotensinogen gene, which encodes proteins that influennce blood pressure regulation.  

This agreement follows APB’s October 26 announcement that it had sold its first Sniper to Riken, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Japan, under a similar early access agreement.  

APB is expected to announce more early access agreements in the near future, according to an APB spokeswoman.
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