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Applied Microarrays Partners with Sensovation to Develop FlexiPlex Array System

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This article has been updated from a previous version to include additional comments from AMI.

Applied Microarrays Inc., a five-year-old company that provides custom array printing services, has joined with instrumentation firm Sensovation to provide an integrated offering for multiplexed assays.

Customers can now place orders for custom printed slides or plates with AMI and then run them using Sensovation's Fluorescent Array Imaging Reader. The companies are marketing the combined offering as the FlexiPlex System.

Stacey Clarken, vice president of commercial operations at Tempe, Ariz.-based AMI, said that over the past year the firm has printed arrays for several customers who "needed a more flexible option" than bead-based assays can provide, or who "wished to multiplex" their current enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

Additionally, there is a "growing segment of the bead assay market that would like freedom from royalty payments and restricted fields of use for their diagnostic tests, with a lower cost per data point," she said, touting AMI's array-based offering.

Clarken told BioArray News that there are "several companies" currently providing multiplexed diagnostic platforms that are "requiring access fees, ongoing royalties, and restricting the field of use." She did not name these companies, but said that the firm is targeting FlexiPlex to customers who wish to avoid such costs and restrictions.

To serve such customers, AMI decided to partner with Radolfzell, Germany-based Sensovation to offer a "complete microarray and instrumentation solution for multiplexed assays."

Hanswilly Muller, vice president of marketing at Sensovation, said in a statement that the company's instrument customers "have also been seeking complete solutions for quantitative, cost-effective multiplexed assays."

As AMI is able to print arrays in slide or plate multi-well formats, both of which can be read using Sensovation's system, Muller noted that the FlexiPlex System "adapts to the customer's changing throughput."

The two companies have already been serving clients together, Muller said. "In the course of the last year, we have worked with Applied Microarrays to address a wide variety of customer applications, primarily in diagnostics," he said. Both Muller and Clarken said the two firms are finalizing the terms of a "formal alliance."

Though AMI is based in the US and Sensovation in Germany, Clarken said the two firms have "well-established systems" to support customers worldwide.

"A significant amount of each company's business comes from international customers," she said. Customers interested in FlexiPlex can approach either company to discuss potential projects, Clarken added.

AMI was founded in 2007 when it acquired GE Healthcare's Codelink bioarray unit. The company's revenues have largely been derived by original equipment manufacturing deals, with contract protein array-related partnerships driving growth (BAN 11/2/2010).

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