Right on target for genomics

Affymetrix and Beckman Coulter join forces to provide robust, automated target preparation solutions

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SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Affymetrix Inc. and Beckman Coulter Inc.have reached an agreement to offer researchers co-developed productsfrom the market leaders in microarrays and automated liquid handlers.
The collaboration will provide scientists withoptimized, robust solutions for genomic research, fortified byend-to-end support.
According to Greg Fisher, associate director ofproduct marketing for Affymetrix, the company is making its growinglist of automated target preparation methods available in conjunctionwith Beckman Coulter's Biomek FXp Dual Arm Multichannel-Span 8 LiquidHandler for stronger, optimized solutions for genomic research. 
"We have other plans in the works to expand these activities to other Beckman systems," he notes.
Fisher adds that benefits of the solution willinclude the flexibility to process samples using Affymetrix GeneChipArrays or Array Plates with a single method, user-friendly interfaces,rapid implementation of new methods, a validated platform, eliminationof costly mistakes and delivery of high-quality results.
"Customer feedback showed us both that after theintroduction of the GeneTitan System, the workflow bottleneck forscientists moved from array processing to target preparation," Fishersays. "Customers wanted to see that area automated, and that is whatdrove us to come together to enter into this co-marketing agreement,and that helped direct the focus of the collaboration. The idea is toprovide a menu of assay methods that provide a wide range of solutionssupporting a diverse set of genomic research applications."
Selecting Beckman Coulter was a collaborator wasan easy process for Affymetrix, according to Fisher, because ofexisting relationships.
"We had already been working with them as apremier application provider for some time," he says. "Given that ourdomain expertise is in microarrays and microarray processing, it isnatural for us to partner with the premier provider of liquid-handlingplatforms to best serve our mutual customers."
According to Kevin King, president and CEO ofAffymetrix, Beckman Coulter's long history in manufacturing qualityautomation platforms with proven reliability make the company the idealpartner for developing automated target prep assays.
"These products not only provide a much neededtarget prep solution for our large installed base of GeneChip Arraycartridge users, but very importantly, this agreement aligns with ourstrategic goals to reengineer the Affymetrix platform," King notes."With automated target prep robotics in front of our GeneTitan System,our customers will benefit from walk-away automation from preparedsamples all the way through array processing and data generation."
Beckman continues to be drawn to Affymetrixbecause its genomics expertise and technologies are a great match forBeckman Coulter's automation solutions, notes Wing Pang, corporate vicepresident of discovery products at Beckman Coulter.
"Customers will soon see the fruits of thiscollaboration with the availability of automated target prep solutionsfor microarrays that address a wide range of sophisticated geneticanalysis assays," notes Pang.

Beckman Coulter and Propel Labs to collaborate on flow cytometry
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.—Beckman Coulter Inc. also announced last month that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Propel Labs LLC,a privately held bio-instrumentation development company specializingin flow cytometry. As part of this alliance, Propel will supportBeckman Coulter with field upgrades of MoFlo instruments to thespecifications associated with the more recent XDP version. Financialterms of the partnership were not released.
"Customers that have MoFlo systems are extremelyloyal to the product and have been for many years," says Brad Calvin,vice president of Beckman Coulter's Flow Cytometry Business Center."This alliance demonstrates our continued support for these customersand a product that has become central to their research applications."
Propel Labs is based in Fort Collins, Colo.

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