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Agilent Sees Opportunities in Toxicology as Paradigm, NIEHS Microarray Deal Extended

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Agilent Technologies and Paradigm Genetics have extended an agreement on gene expression analysis equipment for toxicogenomics, the two companies announced last week.

Agilent will serve as sole provider for the equipment. Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Paradigm will use Agilent’s 60-mer oligonucleotide-based microarrays, reagent chemistries, informatics, and instrumentation to produce data that will be collected in a public database managed by NIEHS’ National Center for Toxicogenomics.

Paradigm is conducting the research as part of its five-year, $23.8 million National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grant.

For Agilent, competing to gain a larger share of the microarray market, the opportunity is many-faceted.

“With this, the government is committed to Agilent for five years,” John Jaskowiak, gene expression product marketing manager, told BioArray News.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has a team of a half dozen to help design the arrays and consult with Paradigm, he said. The contract should consume thousands of arrays over the five years of the program and bring in multiple millions of dollars in revenue, according to Jaskowiak.

It also provides a high-profile opportunity in toxicogenomics.

“This is going to be a big project and we believe that it will be an application extension for microarray usage,” Joskowiak said. “It’s a big opportunity for Agilent.”

He said the project should answer a question that no one can now: “What does a toxicogenomics microarray look like?”

Agilent and Paradigm have worked in collaboration since 2000 and worked together to prepare the application for the NIEHS contract.

The funds for the contract are included in the Federal budget for 2003 and have not yet been released.

“The dollars are guaranteed. They have just formed the team at NIEHS,” he said. “We had meetings last week to talk about what experiments they are going to run, what organisms, and what content they are going to want.”

— MOK