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Corning and BioDiscovery to Co-Market Arrays and Software

NEW YORK, July 6 –Corning and microarray software developer BioDiscovery signed an agreement to co-market Corning’s gene arrays and BioDiscovery’s array analysis software, the companies said Friday.

Under the non-exclusive agreement, BioDiscovery, of Los Angeles, Calif., will add software templates that researchers can use to view Corning’s prefabricated arrays to its ImaGene array visualization programs, and the companies will market their products to one another’s customers, said Greg Moore, BioDiscovery’s vice president of business development.

The two companies formed a partnership because Corning “saw value in tapping into our customer base and we saw value in working with one of the emerging leaders in arrays,” said Moore.

The companies did not disclose further financial terms of the agreement.

Since 150-year old glassware giant Corning announced last September it would be developing prefabricated microarrays, it has signed content partnerships with Incyte and Invitrogen, and inked a $10 million research deal with MIT’s Whitehead Institute for future applications of microarray technology. 

So far, Corning has only released a Yeast gene array. Earlier Corning said it would release a 10,000-gene human array by June, but the company failed to make that launch date and now says it will just release additional index and theme arrays some time during the remainder of the year.

BioDiscovery sought to make its widely used ImaGene platform, which pairs an image of an array from a scanner with a grid template that matches it, compatible with Corning’s arrays.

Researchers who use Corning’s arrays “can just open up one of the templates, and place the grid down that matches that particular type of chip,” said Moore.  “The agreement calls for us to continue to make templates over a period of time as Corning releases a number of arrays,” said Moore. 

The software, which costs between $3,000 and $7,000 depending on the features, generates numerical information for each spot corresponding to gene expression intensity, and allows users to visualize spot intensity and perform ratio analysis of spot intensities. It is constructed on an open source platform, so it can be used with a variety of arrays.

BioDiscovery also markets an array analysis software package that takes data from Affymetrix products, ImaGene, and other sources, and allows users to perform numerous forms of statistical analyses, including scatter plots, hierarchical clustering, and other graph functions.

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