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Ventana and BD Biosciences to Co-Market DNA Microarrays and Hybridization Platform

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Instrumentation maker Ventana Medical Systems and Becton Dickinson subsidiary Clontech Laboratories have agreed to co-market their microarray products.

Together, the two companies will co-promote Clontech’s glass slide microarrays and Ventana’s automated microarray hybridization platform. Ventana, of Tucson, Ariz., said it has also optimized its platform for Clontech’s arrays.

Ventana sought to make the alliance with Palo Alto, Calif.-based Clontech, in order to piggyback on the company’s global network of distributors and customers.

“Clontech is probably the largest supplier of low-density arrays,” said Christopher Gleeson, CEO of Ventana. “They are very strong in the US, Japan, and Europe.”

Clontech, on the other hand, said its reason for the Ventana partnership was to increase throughput for customers of its microarrays.

“Ventana has a machine for high throughput processing of microarrays, and customers can increase the speed of the assay by using our microarrays with their machine,” said Will Scovill, senior product manager for Clontech’s Atlas array program.

Ventana has also worked with Clontech’s microarray R&D team to develop hybridization chemistry that works efficiently on the Ventana platform. “We do 20 slides on an automated platform, and [the hybridization] can take as little as four or five hours,” said Gleeson.

This platform is only compatible with Clontech’s glass microarrays, not its nylon macroarrays or 8,300-gene human plastic microarrays.

Clontech recently introduced glass slide arrays printed with 3,800 named human genes, and plans to introduce 3,800-gene mouse glass arrays in August and 3,800-gene rat arrays in October.

Under the agreement, Ventana and Clontech will co-sponsor workshops and seminars on their products, and will bring together one another’s customers. “Our team will work hand in hand with the Clontech people,” said Gleeson. The companies, however, will still each stick to selling their own products.

— MMJ

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