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Microarray Slide Developer Accelr8 Hopes to Close Inaugural Licensing Deals by July

NEW YORK, June 21 - Nascent microarray-slide developer Accelr8 hopes to close "a couple of licensing deals" for its OptArray protein slides in the US, Europe, and Asia before the end of July, a company official told GenomeWeb today.


David Howson, director of business development at Accelr8, said the deals are anticipated to close before the end of the firm's fiscal year, which ends on July 31. Citing the beleaguered genomics and biotechnology markets, he added "there's obviously no guarantees" that the agreements will happen.


The deals would be the first for the Denver-based company, which began life as a software-development firm but found itself in the protein-slide business after acquiring another firm's technology in early 2001.


Its coming out product in the heated array-consumables market is a pair of biotin-coated slides called OptArray. The slides, released in mid-April, are covered with Accelr8's so-called OptiChem coating, which the company claims helps researchers bind probes while eliminating certain non-specific protein absorption without masking or blocking.


Howson added that Accelr8, which has nine employees, will announce in 30 days the name of the manufacturing facility that will crank out its chips.