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Giving Away Your Microarray Experiments? Industry Group Hopes It s Priceless Marketing


TeleChem/ If you’ve been to a tradeshow involving the genomics sector, you’ve probably seen it. For those of you who haven’t been looking, the TeleChem/ booth is the one that brings a show-biz gloss to serious scientific enterprise.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.,-based company, which offers microarraying services and thrives by brushing strokes of chartreuse in a world where gray is considered a power color, has aligned a cartel of companies in an effort to expand a nascent market by giving away a bundle of everything necessary to conduct a microarray experiment.

TeleChem/Arrayit has created 9,000 book-sized cartons filled with what one could call an instant microarray experiment - all you do is add the content. The company’s giveaway kit contains two 1 x 3 chips printed with 380 70-mer oligonucleotides of human, rat, or plant genes and controls.

The package, presented at the Chips to Hits show last week, includes scanning and image quantification services provided by PerkinElmer and 60 days of GeneTraffic analysis from Iobion.

Telechem designed the oligos that BioSearch Technologies then synthesized and purified. The slides were printed using GeneMachines technology in the Telechem/ facilities. Robin Stears, senior scientist, and Milt Friedman of Telechem designed the arrays.

The company, not ever given to understatement, values the campaign at $16.6 million. “If you were to have a company do 18,000 chips, the bill would be well over $1 million,” said Paul Haje, president of TeleChem/

The idea came to Stears as a way to educate other sectors about the power of microarray analysis.

Robert Stirbl, a senior scientist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Pasadena, Calif., said the kit will help advance the acceptance of microarray analysis in the space research industry. “It’s just so new that something like this will help open the checkbooks,” he said.

Teresa Raich, scientific/medical affairs manager for Roche Diagnostics, said the kit will help introduce the products of the small company of the industry to the pharmaceutical giants.

“There are so many choices in the world of microarrays, this is a really good idea,” she said.

Even a small group like an advanced high school science class might be able to conceive an experiment that could be carried out on this free platform.

The vendors who are contributing hope that it will help increase their markets.

“We are looking at this to get our name out,” said Scott of Gene Machines, which provided the printers for the slides. Iobion opened a sub site to handle the traffic to its online analysis software.

“If we get one-in-10 response from the kits, that will be a significant number for us,” said Dile Holton, product manager for PerkinElmer.



Do you have an idea for a microarray experiment that can be done on TeleChem arrays? E-mail us, in 100 words or less, your idea. In December, we will choose from among entrants. Your feedback, including how the chips performed, will appear in an upcoming issue of BioArray News.

E-mail to: [email protected]

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