During the next five years the projects include genetic analyses and measurement of gene expression in patients with atherosclerosis, breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and dyslexia. These diseases affect a large number of patients worldwide. Systematic use of the genomic information obtained will enable development of new and better clinical methods and drugs hereby reducing mortality and improving quality of life for patients suffering from these diseases.
The Karolinska Institutet/Affymetrix Translational medicine research projects will use sufficiently large sample sizes to establish true clinical relevance of both gene expression and DNA sequence variation in key areas of unmet medical needs.
"Today we have access to a very broad range of population-based clinical materials and data, that we want to study in order to understand the importance of genetic factors for emergence and treatment of various diseases. The agreement enables us to perform these studies at an acceptable cost and we will also get access to new technology at an early stage. Our expectation is that this cooperation will help us to improve peoples health", said Professor Jan Carlstedt-Duke, dean of research at Karolinska Institutet.
"To improve human health, we need to shift the healthcare paradigm from diagnosing and treating existing diseases, to being able to predicting disease susceptibility and an individual's response to drugs," said Patrick Kelly, European Site Manager and Vice President, Affymetrix. "This is what personalized medicine is all about -- enabling clinicians to detect diseases earlier and manage them more effectively. We are excited about the potential of this ag reement to move the translational medicine field forward."
Karolinska Institutet agreement is part of the Affymetrix Translational Medicine Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to bridge the gap between clinical research and application of genomics in patient care by bringing together leading clinical research institutes with advanced Affymetrix microarray technology.
Karolinska Institutet will have access to a number of new microarray technologies from Affymetrix, including the Mapping 100K. The 100K is the first in a family of products that will allow researchers at Karolinska Institutet to perform high-density genome scans and genome-wide association studies on the genetics of complex diseases.
Affymetrix scientists invented the world's first high-density 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 nearly 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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