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Van Andel Research Institute Adopts Aushon Arrayer for Cancer Studies

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By Justin Petrone

The Van Andel Research Institute, part of the Van Andel Institute, will use Aushon Biosystems' 2470 Arrayer in its Laboratory of Cancer Immunodiagnostics, Aushon said this week.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based VARI will use the arrayer as part of an effort to identify and study protein abnormalities in the blood of cancer patients, with the ultimate goal of developing blood tests for the early detection or more accurate diagnosis of cancer.

Brian Haab, senior scientific researcher at the lab, said in a statement that VARI will use the 2470 to produce antibody, protein, glycan, small molecule, and RNAi microarrays. With such a "diverse mix," of projects, VARI selected Aushon's system because it can make "many arrays with many different elements in a reasonable amount of time."

Aushon’s 2470 microarrayer enables users to print DNA, proteins, cell lysates, and other samples using its pin-based deposition technology. Launched in 2006, the system is automated and allows users to print onto various substrates, including slides, membranes, microtiter well plates, disks, wafers, and chips, according to the Billerica, Mass.-based firm.

Aushon has placed several arrayers in recent months, most notably with the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, or FIMM, which plans to launch a cell microarray screening research program that will rely on the instrument (BAN 3/30/2010).

CEO Pete Honkanen told BioArray News last month that Aushon will continue to develop its 2470 arrayer even as it moves into other arenas, such as selling catalog and custom protein array kits (BAN 4/27/2010).

"We believe that the print technology is a foundational technology for Aushon, and as such we will continue to develop the technology, and launch or realize that development in the arrayer product line," Honkanen said at the time. He said that deals with partners like FIMM, and now VARI, will "benefit" the company going forward because by "learning more and more about the needs and requirements of customers vis a vis the technology, we can refine the arrayer product line."

Financial details of the deal with VARI were not discussed.

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