Arrayed from end to end

BioDiscovery and Exiqon sign OEM agreement to provide complete miRNA analysis solution

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—BioDiscovery Inc., a provider of integrated software solutions for microarray-based research, in early May entered into an OEM agreement with Copenhagen, Denmark-based Exiqon A/S, a provider of microRNA analysis products and services.

Under the agreement, BioDiscovery's array image analysis and data analysis and visualization software will be paired with with Exiqon's microRNA Array offering for what the companies call "a complete solution offering."

"The integration of ImaGene 9 and Nexus Expression 2 with the miRCURY LNA microRNA arrays from Exiqon results in the most optimized and simplified workflow available today," says Henrik M. Pfundheller, vice president of sales and marketing for Exiqon. "We can now provide researchers with the best performing microRNA arrays on the market together with all other needed reagents, kits and software analysis tools enabling researchers to get from RNA extraction, labeling of samples, array hybridization and further on to data analysis and bioinformatics in an easy, fast and accurate way."

The "complete solution offering" doesn't stop there, Pfundheller notes, saying, "As we also offer solutions for downstream validation of array results including our LNA Universal RT microRNA PCR product, customers can get a complete package for their microRNA research at Exiqon."

Both ImaGene 9 and Nexus Expression 2 were released very recently by BioDiscovery, on March 18 and March 15, respectively.

"We have revamped the design of version 9.0 [of ImaGene] to bring to the forefront its principal function of spot quantification by removing internal downstream analysis tools. Instead, a new modular design allows more choices and flexibility in providing an option to add modules for gene regulation analysis as well as CGH analysis," says Dr. Soheil Shams, president of BioDiscovery. As for Expression 2, "Nexus Expression is the second product in our Nexus family of modular software applications for genomic studies. New features in version two further expand on tools to make it easy for scientists to obtain relevant results in minimal time."

BioDiscovery's software is platform-independent and available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems. Nexus Expression for ImaGene is a complete analysis package allowing up to 24 samples to be simultaneously analyzed and visualized to identify differentially regulated probes, cluster samples and probes and identify common biological themes through gene set enrichment, and it offers "an intuitive interface and rich graphical and numerical outputs."

Exiqon's miRCURY LNA microRNA Array features validated and Tm-normalized LNA-based capture probes and, with the recent launch of the company's fifth-generation array, Exiqon says it now offers the most updated content on the market. The array contains probes targeting more than 2,520 human, mouse and rat microRNAs as well as viral microRNAs and 385 new proprietary human miRPlus sequences.

"The partnership between BioDiscovery and Exiqon provides a complete well-integrated solution for microRNA array studies, going from array experiment with Exiqon's miRCURY LNA microRNA arrays to final results with data analysis and visualization from BioDiscovery software," Shams says. "Now, regardless of the scanning equipment the customer is using, our ImaGene software will allow efficient and accurate quantification of the signals and our Nexus Expression for ImaGene software will provide pre-processing and statistical analysis to identify differentially expressed microRNAs and perform clustering analysis."

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