Affymetrix Launches new GeneChip® Globin-Reduction Kits and Protocol Developed with PreAnalytiX
Apr 12 2005

Affymetrix Launches new GeneChip® Globin-Reduction Kits and Protocol Developed with PreAnalytiX

Hombrechtikon, Switzerland and Santa Clara, California, April 12, 2005 - Affymetrix Inc., (Nasdaq: AFFX) announced today the launch of the new GeneChip® Globin-Reduction kits and associated protocol developed in conjunction with PreAnalytiX - a joint venture between QIAGEN NV (Nasdaq: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA) and BD (Becton Dickinson and Company). The new kits optimize the PreAnalytiX PAXgene TM Blood RNA System for use with Affymetrix GeneChip technology and improve gene expression profile results of cellular RNA extracted from whole blood.

The combination of the GeneChip Blood RNA Concentration Kit (featuring the PAXgene Blood RNA System) and the GeneChip Globin-Reduction RNA Controls standardizes all the steps of whole blood RNA processing--from sample stabilization to analysis on GeneChip microarrays. This has been a major challenge in expression studies of whole blood, as prior RNA preparation methods have often yielded expression results with variable levels of sensitivity.

Use of the Globin-Reduction Protocol and associated reagent kits enables researchers to detect subtle changes in gene expression by reducing the overwhelming amounts of globin messenger RNA (mRNA) present in whole blood. Large amounts of globin mRNA can significantly interfere with gene expression assay results. High globin mRNA levels contributed from a fraction of the red blood cells have typically masked the less abundant, but more important, changes of gene expression associated with white blood cells, such as lymphocytes and monocytes. Counteracting the effects of globin mRNA during target preparation significantly increases assay sensitivity on GeneChip arrays.

The GeneChip Globin Reduction Protocol links PreAnalytiX' already proven standard for whole blood collection, stabilization and isolation of RNA with Affymetrix' leading product line for microarray-based analysis of whole blood cellular RNA profiles.

"An accurate picture of in vivo gene expression profiles is essential for understanding gene regulation as it relates to different disease states and a patient's response to drug therapy," said Noel Doheny, Vice President of PreAnalytiX and QIAGEN. "We continue to see a strong market trend towards the correlation of gene expression profiles of whole blood and tissue samples. With the new GeneChip Globin-Reduction Protocol and associated reagent kits, standardization of the entire pre-analytical and analytical process for whole blood gene expression profiling can now be accomplished."

"The ability of the PAXgeneTM Blood RNA system to preserve RNA expression levels from the time of sample collection to the time of RNA isolations is a critical component to obtaining accurate gene expression profiles," said Lianne McLean, Sr. Director, Gene Expression Marketing, Affymetrix. "The optimized protocol, the PAXgene system and the controls will significantly improve the ability to obtain high quality profiles from blood, thus enabling clinical research and collecting samples for multi-site clinical trials."

 

About PreAnalytiX GmbH:

 

The purpose of PreAnalytiX GmbH, a Swiss-based joint venture between BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and QIAGEN N.V., is to develop, manufacture, and market integrated systems for the collection, stabilization, and purification of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) for molecular diagnostic testing. The first product from PreAnalytiX, the PAXgeneTM Blood RNA System, was launched in April 2001, and has set a new standard for stabilizing whole blood cellular RNA profiles at the time of blood collection in an evacuated blood collection tube. This enables researchers and clinicians to perform more accurate analysis of gene expression profiles without the variations caused by sample collection, storage, transport or fractionation while relying on highly standardized and proven sample collection principles. Additional information on PreAnalytiX can be found under http://www.preanalytix.com/.

 

About Affymetrix:

 

Affymetrix scientists invented the world's first microarray in 1989 and began selling the first commercial microarray in 1994. Since then, Affymetrix GeneChip(R) technology has become the industry standard in molecular biology research. Affymetrix technology is used by the world's top pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology companies as well as leading academic, government and not-for-profit research institutes. More than 1,200 systems have been shipped around the world and nearly 3,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published using the technology. Affymetrix' patented photolithographic manufacturing process provides the most information capacity available today on an array, enabling researchers to use a whole-genome approach to analyze the relationship between genetics and health. Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara , Calif. , with manufacturing facilities in Sacramento , Calif. , and Bedford , Mass. The company maintains important sales and marketing operations in Europe and Asia and has about 900 employees worldwide.

 

About QIAGEN:

 

QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company with subsidiaries in Germany , the United States , Japan , the United Kingdom , Switzerland , France , Italy , Australia , Norway , Austria , Canada , and the Netherlands believes it is the world's leading provider of innovative enabling technologies and products for the separation, purification and handling of nucleic acids. QIAGEN has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 320 proprietary, consumable products for nucleic acid and protein separation, purification and handling, nucleic acid amplification, as well as automated instrumentation, synthetic nucleic acid products and related services. QIAGEN's products are sold in more than 42 countries throughout the world to academic research markets and to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In addition, QIAGEN is positioning its products for sale into developing commercial markets, including DNA sequencing and genomics, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy. QIAGEN employs approximately 1,400 people worldwide. Further information on QIAGEN can be found at http://www.qiagen.com/.

 

Certain of the statements contained in this news release may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. To the extent that any of the statements contained herein relating to QIAGEN's products, markets, strategy or operating results are forward-looking, such statements are based on current expectations that involve a number of uncertainties and risks. Such uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to, risks associated with management of growth and international operations (including the effects of currency fluctuations and risks of dependency on logistics), variability of operating results, the commercial development of the DNA sequencing, genomics and proteomics markets, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics market, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy markets, competition, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, fluctuations in demand for QIAGEN's, products (including seasonal fluctuations), difficulties in successfully adapting QIAGEN's products to integrated solutions and producing such products, the ability of QIAGEN to identify and develop new products and to differentiate its products from competitors, market acceptance of QIAGEN's new products and the integration of acquisitions of technologies and businesses. For further information, refer to the discussion in reports that QIAGEN has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

NOTE: Affymetrix, the Affymetrix logo, and GeneChip are registered trademarks owned or used by Affymetrix, Inc.       

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Contact:

IR QIAGEN N.V.

Phone: +49 2103 29 11710

Fax: +49 2103 29 21710

Email: ir@qiagen.com

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