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GeneMachines Sells OmniGrid Microarrayers to Singapore Genome Institute

NEW YORK, July 25 – GeneMachines has sold two OmniGrid microarrayers to the Genome Institute of Singapore, the company said Wednesday. 

The Genome Institute will use the microarrayers in its work on zebrafish and mouse model systems, as well as cancer genomics and other research that comprises part of Singapore’s promised $4 billion investment in genomics and biotechnology. 

Lance Miller, a former National Cancer Institute scientist who is heading up the Genome Institute’s microarray research laboratory, chose the OmniGrids because he had worked with two OmniGrids before, said Jen Martindale, a market research analyst for GeneMachines.

“He had worked with our instruments [at NCI] and was really pleased with its performance and throughput levels, and the flexibility that the machine offered,” Martindale said. “So he decided when he was going to set up his own microarrawy facility to put in orders for more OmniGrids.” 

The OmniGrids have already been shipped, said Martindale, who added that Miller has plans to order additional OmniGrids as the facility expands. The parties did not disclose the financial specifics of the sale, although the OmniGrid’s tend to sell for under $100,000 each, Martindale said.

The Singapore government started the Genome Institute in an effort to help strengthen its biomedical sector, which it hopes to turn into one of the country's leading industries along with electronics, chemicals, and engineering.  

Former NCI researcher Edison Liu agreed to head up the institute in late January, and since then has  been recruiting scientists like Miller from around the world.

Liu told GenomeWeb earlier that he would focus the Institute's work on molecular epidemiology, pharmacogenomics, comparative genomics, and cell biology and that he would look to commercialize any findings and to partner with local companies and institutes. He also said that population genomics work, including a database of Asian genomic information, would take advantage of Singapore’s ethnic diversity, which includes populations of ethnic Chinese, South Indian, and Malay citizens.    

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