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Affymetrix, Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Ariadne Genomics, AltheaDx, Analytical NanoTechnologies, Microarray Limited

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Affymetrix Shares Dive on Lowered FY2008 Revenue Forecast
 
Shares of Affymetrix tumbled 36.5 percent to a new 52-week low in early Tuesday trading after the firm disclosed late Monday afternoon that it expects its full-year 2008 revenue to be approximately 3 percent lower than the amount it previously forecast.
 
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based microarray firm lowered its revenue projection to a range of between $490 million and $510 million from its previous guidance of between $505 million and $525 million, which it made during its fourth-quarter 2007 conference call in January.
 
Investors fled the stock overnight, pushing the firm's shares down $5.96 to $10.37 in Nasdaq trading at press time.
 
“This reduction in revenue expectations for the full year is primarily the result of expected lower research spending by pharmaceutical and industrial customers,” Affymetrix said in a statement. “The company is currently reviewing ways to further reduce operating expenses to offset the impact of this revenue reduction.”
 
Affymetrix also said that it expects first-quarter revenue to be roughly $170 million, which includes a $90 million payment from Illumina to settle litigation between the firms. Analysts had predicted the firm would report revenue of around $182.5 million, including the payment.
 
Affymetrix disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of February that it would move the “majority” of its probe array manufacturing from its West Sacramento, Calif., facility to its Singapore facility by the end of 2008 as part of an ongoing effort to reduce costs (see BAN 3/4/2008).
 
The firm will release its first-quarter results after the close of the market on April 24.
 

 
Freiburg Researchers to Use Ariadne's Software, Databases
 
The Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg has licensed Ariadne Genomics’ software platform and databases for use in its mammalian, worm, and plant research programs, Ariadne said last week.
 
Under the license, Freiburg researchers will use Ariadne’s Pathway Studio, including MedScan, which extracts functional relationships from scientific texts.
 
The researchers also will use the ResNet Mammalian and Plant databases, which includes information from PubMed and other journals about molecular interactions and holds around 1.5 million unique relationships.
 
The information from peer-reviewed publications in the ResNet Mammalian and ResNet Plant database, as well as the visualization mechanism in Pathway Studio, make the technology “uniquely suited” for Freiburg’s use, according to Stefan Rensing, who is head of the Freiburg’s Data Management Core Facility.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 

 
AltheaDx to Offer Biomarker Discovery Services on Affy Platform
 
AltheaDx this week announced a supply and service provider agreement with Affymetrix that enables AltheaDx to offer biomarker discovery and development services based on Affy’s GeneChip microarray platform. AltheaDx, a recent spin-out of Althea Technologies, said that it is making the services available to customers worldwide.
 
Specifically, AltheaDx will use Affy genotyping and gene expression technology to identify novel biomarkers and analyze gene pathways critical to the development and progression of cancer. By doing so, the company officially becomes part of Affy’s authorized service provider program.
 
Financial details were not discussed.
 

 
Affymetrix Extends Collaborations in Cancer Research Program to North America
 
Affymetrix this week announced an extension of its Collaborations in Cancer Research Program to North America, forming an alliance with 25 cancer researchers. The company first launched CCRP in Europe last year (see BAN 4/24/2007).
 
Researchers in the program are using Affymetrix technology to study more than 10 types of cancer. CCRP participants were selected on the basis of past contributions to their respective fields and potential to make significant advancements in cancer research.
 
As part of the program, Affymetrix is partially funding selected research projects that demonstrate clinical utility, in addition to helping participants obtain tools and training, and providing forums where investigators can exchange knowledge and share best practices.
 
Later this year, Affy plans to expand CCRP to researchers in the Asian-Pacific market.
 

 
Analytical NanoTechnologies Licenses Tech from Microarray Ltd.
 
Analytical NanoTechnologies, a Sedgefield, UK-based technology company, this week said it has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Manchester-based Microarray Limited.
 
The agreement gives ANTnano the right to develop applications for detecting infectious diseases and the presence of explosives using Microarray Ltd.’s biochip platform. Microarray Ltd. was formed in June 2000 as a joint venture between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester.
 
ANTnano also has signed an agreement giving it the option to acquire Microarray Ltd. for £1 million ($1.5 million) at any time prior to June 30.
 
ANTnano did not respond to questions about the deal by press time.

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