Affymetrix has said it is seeing more of its customers move to its next-generation array format, though the majority of them are using the arrays for genotyping, while most customers conducting gene-expression profiling continue to use the firm's older, cartridge-based arrays.
Affymetrix in 2008 launched gene-expression assays on its new array plate format for use on its automated GeneTitan instrument, which can process 96 samples at once. The company last year introduced its Axiom genotyping array plates, which also run on the GeneTitan, as well as the lower-throughput, benchtop GeneAtlas system, which can process four samples at once.
Doug Farrell, head of investor relations at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm, said last week that in the third quarter a third of genotyping sales were in the new format.
"The ratio is much lower in gene expression as those don't tend to be as high-volume applications," Farrell said at the Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference, which was webcast from New York last week.
According to Affy Chief Financial Officer Tim Barabe, there is "no question" that the majority of customers that use the firm's genotyping products will eventually move to the new platform. "If you look at Axiom, that's where the real customer interest is these days and we expect to see continued acceleration of [genotyping] sales from the cartridge format to the peg format going forward."
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