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Gen-Probe, Affy Provide Updates at Conference

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Gen-Probe and Affymetrix presented updates on their businesses for investors at the Thomas Weisel Healthcare Conference being held this week in Boston.

Gen-Probe officials said that the firm is on track with clinical trials for its Aptima HPV assay and expects to file for US Food and Drug Administration clearance of the test by the end of 2010. They also said that Panther, Gen-Probe's fully automated molecular instrument, is on schedule for a late 2010 launch in Europe, followed by a US launch in 2011.

Peter Lawson, an analyst with Thomas Weisel, wrote in a research note yesterday, "While we believe Gen-Probe's offerings will be highly competitive, we are cautious due to the first mover advantage and the evolving technologies from a number of competitors, such as Qiagen and Hologic in HPV."

Meanwhile, Affymetrix executives said that the firm is looking to penetrate new markets outside of its core areas of gene expression and genotyping arrays. It is looking particularly at downstream markets, such as validation and routine testing.

In addition, Affy officials said that the firm expects the firm to see a significant benefit in 2010 from stimulus programs, as 70 percent of its business is in the academic and government markets. However, they did not provide any specific guidance related to this funding.

In early Friday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Gen-Probe were up less than 1 percent at $39.10, while shares of Affy were up 1 percent at $8.80.

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