Suite deal: Stratagene, Strand to co-develop a suite of bioninformatics software tools

Chris Anderson
STORY UPDATE
 
LA JOLLA, Calif.— January 18, 2006—Seeing almost immediatefruits from its co-development deal with Strand Life Sciences,Stratagene Corp. announced the launch of PathwayArchitect Software,used to analyze data resulting from systems biology-focused pathwayresearch. The system, powered by avidis technology, offers abiology-focused workflow and a database of more than one millionbiological interactions.
 
 
LA JOLLA, Calif.—Stratagene Corp., a developer and manufacturer oflife science research and diagnostic products, and informatics companyStrand Life Sciences announced in early December a strategicpartnership whereby the companies will co-develop a comprehensive suiteof bioinformatics software tools. Under the terms of the agreement,Stratagene will exclusively market and sell the products developed,which will use Strand's avidis technology. First products of therelationship were anticipated to launch this month, according toStratagene officials, with the initial products addressing systemsbiology-focused pathway analysis and analysis of the higher density,next generation of Affymetrix GeneChip arrays.
"We've looked at partnering with many different organizations andconcluded that Strand was the best fit for a number of reasons," saysDavid Weber senior vice president of marketing for Stratagene. "Numberone, they've been developing software in the life science space for awhile now and their avadis platform, upon which some of our newproducts are built, is well-recognized and accepted in the marketplace.Second, to be fair about it, they are based in Bangalore, India, andoffer an extremely talented group of people at a much lower cost thanit would take to accomplish the same goal here in the U.S."
According to Jason Gonsalves, GM Stratagene software business, thecombination of the two companies was like fitting two puzzle piecestogether. "In terms of the partnership, working with Strand is a uniqueopportunity because they have a high level of competence in thesoftware development but they don't have the kind of domain or channelexperience that Stratagene does."
The result, Gonsalves notes, is a "natural partnership" thathighlights Strand's technical expertise merged with Stratagene's marketknowledge and reach.
The first products from the relationship, are calledPathwayArchitect, ArrayAssist Expression and ArrayAssist Exon.PathwayArchitect is a biological data mining package that aims toprovide life science researchers with "statistically relevantrelationships in their system, not just biological facts," according tocompany information.
The ArrayAssist Expression and Array Assist Exon are built uponStrand's avadis technology to analyze data from Affymetrix microarrays.An important cornerstone to the deal with Strand is based onStratagene's exclusive software alliance with Affymetrix and aco-branded product called ArrayAssist Light.
 "This is the default method that Affymetrix provides totheir customers to calculate the basic data from an Affymetrixexpression chip and that is distributed to Affymetrix customersfree-of-charge," says Gonsalves. This scaled back edition ofStratagene's more robust ArrayAssist product allows for the company toapproach GeneChip users for a potential upsell to the full version.
 This relationship will continue with Affymetrix's new Exonarray and will allow Stratagene to be first-to-market with afull-fledged product tailored specifically to the more robust datacollection needed for the new arrays.
Strand officials could not be reached prior to press time, but ina prepared statement, Chairman and CEO of Strand Vijay Chandru states;""We believe that this partnership for informatics solutions willenable Strand and Stratagene to take a strong position in thefunctional genomics informatics vertical as the leading provider ofcomprehensive solutions to the research biologist. With Stratagene'sstrategic software alliance with Affymetrix, we are poised to deliversoftware tools that will facilitate the biologist through the seamlessand effortless transition to the next generation of GeneChipmicroarrays including exon, tiling and SNP arrays and move from arrayanalysis to pathway analysis equally seamlessly."

Chris Anderson

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