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Affymetrix Launches New Globin-Reduction Kits and Protocol Developed with PreAnalytiX

Affymetrix Inc. (Nasdaq: AFFX), announced today the launch of the new GeneChip(R) Globin-Reduction kits and associated protocol developed in conjunction with PreAnalytiX -- a joint venture between QIAGEN N.V. (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 regul ation 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 PAXgene(TM) Blood RNA system to preserve RNA expression levels from the time of sample collection to the time of RNA isolation 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 PAXgene(TM) 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 .

About Affymetrix:

Affy metrix 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 over 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.



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