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Reader Response: Ciphergen Responds to Lumicyte Story: ABI nixes Lite Brite


William Rich, CEO of Ciphergen, writes to BioArray News:

...The March 15 article “Lumicyte Battles Arch-Rival Ciphergen For Protein Profiling Biochip Dominance,” leaves readers with what I believe is a false impression — that because we sell our system in the research market, as well as perform services here, our ProteinChip technology has limited capability. Let me set the record straight.

The article states that Ciphergen’s ProteinChip Arrays are “basic” and can be used in “ordinary” labs. Our ProteinChip Systems and Arrays were intentionally designed to provide such ease-of-use that they can be used by the benchtop scientist. However, merely because our biochips are easy to use does not mean that they have inferior or lower level performance. Ciphergen’s ProteinChip Arrays incorporate advanced surface chemistries that result from our continuous research and development in SELDI (Surface Enhanced Laser Desorption/Ionization) technology. These biochips are routinely used in large-scale discovery and validation studies as part of collaborative services conducted through our Biomarker Centers...The article also states, “Ciphergen chips do not allow identification of proteins.” This is simply not true. Our customers routinely identify proteins captured on our ProteinChip Arrays using either our ProteinChip Systems or our ProteinChip tandem MS interface. Finally, your article implied that Ciphergen has not developed pattern recognition capability. In fact, Ciphergen’s ProteinChip Biomarker System, introduced in 2001, incorporates Biomarker Patterns software as an essential component. This software uses powerful clustering algorithms to identify patterns of biomarker expression that differentiate classes of biological samples.


Applied Biosystems has said that the SNP genotyping system mentioned in the March 22 BioArray News article, “Illumina Hopes to Sow the Beads of a Second Microarray Revolution,” is not going to be called Lite Brite: this is just an in-house project name. Second, ABI said it is supplying its Oligonucleotide Ligase Assay (OLA) to the genotyping system. The assay, which is highly multiplexed, will play a key role, along with Illumina’s arrays in enabling users of the system to do "ultra high-throughput SNP genotyping" at a cost far below what current systems offer, ABI said. The system will do 141,696 genotypes per plate and is slated for an August launch.

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