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No New Human Array Announced, but Affymetrix Back in Black for Second Quarter

NEW YORK, July 23 -- Affymetrix did not enter what might become a race to introduce a whole genome microarray, as it announced its second quarter financials in a conference call with analysts today.

Yesterday, industry giant Applied Biosystems lobbed a product-announcement firecracker into the industrial-scale microarray manufacturing market by saying that it planned to launch a whole-genome, single-microarray product as part of gene-expression analysis system as its entry into an arena dominated by Affymetrix.

Sue Siegel, Affymetrix president, was measured in her response to a question about whether Affymetrix might consider taking legal action over possible patent issues with ABI.

"It would be premature to make any comments," Siegel said. "We haven't seen their products. What we heard is an announcement of a product they plan to launch."

Siegal also said that any comment would be premature on the FDA's letter to Roche Diagnostics over the propriety of marketing its Affymetrix-manufactured AmpliChip as an ASR.

"As the component supplier, we need to make sure we support Roche on a go-forward basis," she said.

Trevor Nicholls, the company's chief commercial officer, said unit volume of chip sales to Roche remained strong.

The company reported net income of $5.2 million on revenues of $68.6 million for the second quarter ending June 30, compared to a loss of $1.6 million on revenues of $71 million for the second quarter 2002, and a turnaround from its first quarter net loss of $12.7 million on revenues of $67 million.

Gains were attributed to record instrument revenue of $15.6 million on top of revenues of $30 million from sales of its GeneChip-brand arrays. Wafer sales to Perlegen Sciences accounted for an additional $2.8 million, compared to $5.6 million for the same period a year ago. The company installed some 39 gene chip systems for the quarter, bringing its installed base to 860 systems globally.

Affymetrix reported R&D expenses of $16.6 million for the quarter, compared to $17.3 million for the year-ago quarter.

 

The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $37 million on June 30, compared to $68 million on Dec. 31, 2002.

 

Steve Fodor, the Affymetrix CEO, took time during the conference call to read user product testimonials, and said that the company will strive to provide higher resolution and continued quality in its products.

 

"There is no other manufacturing process that can provide this level of quality assurance," he said. "These standards are essential for clinical applications and regulatory approval."

 

 

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