In September, High Throughput Genomics (HTG) appointed Dr. William Radany as its new CEO. Radany comes to the array specialist with experience at immunodiagnostics company Chemicon International and proteomics platform providers Xencor and Biacore. Recently, Executive Editor Randall C Willis had a chance to sit down with Radany and discuss his plans for HTG.
DDN: The microarray market is incredibly competitive with Affymetrix holding the lion's share. How does HTG differentiate itself in this crowded marketplace?
Radany: Affymetrix clearly dominates the high-density market segment and its products are used for screening. In fact, we view our product as a complement to the Affymetrix arrays and most of our customers have used the ArrayPlate in follow-up studies to validate or characterize their Affymetrix results. We differentiate our product in three ways. First, it is very quantitative and can be used to simultaneously measure small changes in small samples on a focused set of targets very reproducibly. Second, we offer customized arrays focused on specific pathways or biomarkers. Third, its robust nature and ability to test lots of samples quickly and cost effectively using crude lysates and eliminating extraction make it an ideal method to follow up the initial Affymetrix results.
DDN: HTG will expand from purely customized arrays to include standardized arrays. What prompted this move?
Radany: Simply put, our customers. They asked us for a menu of standard arrays for a variety of applications such as oncology, apoptosis, toxicology and inflammation to use as starting starting points in their initial experiments. Once a researcher understands the basic processes in a specific area of study, they can then move to zero in on a specific set of genes using our ArrayPlate product based on the quantitative nuclease protection assay (qNPA).
DDN: SNP cataloguing seems to be pass ing gene expression studies as the application of choice for arrays. What new applications do you see coming downstream?
Radany: We recognize this trend and certainly we are aware of it from our discussion with customers. In fact we have shown that the the qNPA assay can be used for siRNA as well as RNAi applications. We think that researchers can use the broad versatility of the qNPA as a platform technology to move across quickly and easily across a variety of applications.
DDN: Your background includes companies involved in proteomics and diagnostics. Is this an indication of things to come for HTG?