Nanogen has lent a NanoChip workstation to Rational Diagnostics, a Seattle molecular diagnostics startup, so the company can use it for research to identify genetic markers for various lymphomas.
This is a non-revenue transaction, according to Nanogen chief financial officer Gerald Wills, but Nanogen, based in San Diego, will retain certain rights to commercialize assays that emerge from the research.
Nanogen believes it can benefit from Rational Diagnostics research through the development of a marketable diagnostic array or array kit. And when Rational Diagnostics scientists use the instrument, said Wills optimistically, they will see their ability to do research [with it] and at the end of the agreement will hopefully purchase the instrument.
Nanogens NanoChip workstation includes 100 electronically hybridized probe locations that can be individually programmed.
The company currently only sells blank chips that users can program with their own content. We are not to the point where we are selling reagents yet, Wills said.
The company plans to reach the point of selling reagents within a month or so, by which time it will have met the CGMP (current good manufacturing practices) standards, which are set by the FDA. Once this standard is met, the company plans to sell reagent kits rather than pre-loaded chips, to allow for maximum flexibility.