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Phalanx Pretty Close to Releasing Human One Arrays in Taiwan

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Phalanx Biotech is getting nearer to officially launching its Human One Arrays in its native Taiwan next year, according to a company official.

Luke Chen, the firm's vice president of marketing, told BioArray News this week that Phalanx is "looking at 2006" to release the arrays, which drew interest in 2004 when the company pledged to make them available for $100 per chip (see BAN 6/9/2004).

Earlier this year, Bertrand Jordan, who sits on the scientific advisory board of Phalanx, told attendees at the World Microarray Congress in Vancouver, BC, that the chips would be out in 2005.

In an interview with BioArray News last month, Phalanx's chief scientist Charles Ma said that his company's approach was to be "very cautious and make sure we're ready" (see BAN 9/21/2005).

Chen said last year that the arrays will be printed with 30,000 probes derived from NCBI Unigene clusters and RefSeq, and confirmed this week that the $100-per-chip offer is still planned for orders exceeding 100 chips. "We are still planning to launch our product at $100 per array," he wrote in a follow up e-mail to BioArray News.

Also, according to Chen, Phalanx is "definitely going to release in Taiwan first."

"We had a very small release through collaborations," he said. "We might have a bigger one just to get more feedback. When we do release it in Taiwan [we] will make a formal announcement."

The company's only formally announced collaboration so far has been with the Biomedical Engineering Center of ITRI, a 6,000-employee government-sponsored organization charged with creating core technology and transferring it to the private sector. ITRI actually exclusively licensed its inkjet-based printing technology to Phalanx, so it has been using the technology it helped incubate.

Chen said it was "hard to say" when the chips would roll out, but added that Phalanx is "pretty close. It could be somewhere between this year and next year." He added that following the Taiwan release the company would decide when to enter the European and North American markets.

— Justin Petrone ([email protected])

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