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Affymetrix Partners with Leica on RNA Expression Assay; Files $200M Shelf Registration

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Affymetrix and Leica Microsystems today announced a deal to automate Affymetrix's QuantiGene View RNA ISH Tissue Assay on the Leica Bond RX staining platform for research applications.

Affy also has filed a shelf registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to offer up to $200 million in securities from time to time.

In a statement, Affy and Leica said their collaboration significantly reduces assay time for single-copy RNA in situ hybridization analysis by providing a "powerful automated everyday solution for drug discovery, translational research, and the development of new companion diagnostic tests."

The QuantiGene View RNA ISH Tissue Assay enables the measurement of RNA expression directly in a tissue section at single-copy sensitivity. More than 1,000 standard probes are available and a customized probe for a new gene target can be produced in a few days, the companies said. With the staining process automated on the Leica Bond RX system, researchers now can complete an assay in one day with rapid set up for any probe.

The QuantiGene View RNA ISH Tissue Assay will be available for research use in the third quarter on the research-optimized Leica Bond Rx system. An optimized QuantiGene View RNA staining protocol will be preloaded on the Leica system, and a complete staining kit with probes and detection components will be available from Affy.

"While medical science has created powerful new treatments that greatly enhance lives, there are still many disease states where we need to discover better treatments, or even cures," Arnd Kaldowski, president of Leica, a Danaher company, said in a statement. The partnership with Affy "can help in the discovery and development process by enabling researchers to reduce both the time and cost of research so that new treatments can be made available to patients sooner."

George Bers, vice president and general manager of Expression Business Unit – Panomics at Affy, added that the deal "unlocks the true potential of single-copy RNA analysis and we believe it will accelerate the discovery of important new drugs and the validation of novel companion tests."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Affy also disclosed in an SEC document that it plans to offer up to $200 million from time to time in common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, warrants, and purchase contracts in order to pay for a portion of its pending $315 million purchase of eBioscience.

Net proceeds from the sale also may go toward general corporate purposes and investments, it said.