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Kalorama: Many Benefits for Thermo Fisher in Announced Affymetrix Acquisition

NEW YORK, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In announcing an acquisition of Affymetrix, Thermo Fisher selected a legacy competitor in complementary markets of microarrays, translational research, flow cytometry, and other areas, according to Kalorama Information. News sources indicate that Affymetrix was recently purchased for approximately $1.3 billion and had total revenue of $349 million in 2014. Thermo Fisher plans to integrate the company into its Life Sciences Solutions segment, a $4 billion business segment created with the previous acquisition of Life Technologies in February 2014. Kalorama sees several areas of integration in the deal. 

"Affymetrix's major product groups will integrate well into Thermo Fisher Scientific's existing businesses and also introduce the parent company into promising expansion markets," said Kalorama analyst Emil Salazar in a recent blog post. 

Affymetrix is a leader in the global microarray market that has been reshaped by rising competition from next-generation sequencing (NGS) in a key application area of gene expression studies. In the past several years, the microarray industry saw the notable exit of Roche with its shuttering of its NimbleGen microarray operation that left only Affymetrix, Agilent and Illumina as major suppliers. Declining market prospects were countered, however, by the rising application of microarrays in oncology and reproductive health.

Translational research is the traditional revenue engine for Affymetrix. Microarrays play a critical role in the translational pipeline activities of discovery, verification and validation crucial to the integration of biomarkers into diagnostics and development of pharmaceuticals from drug targets. Various probes can be synthesized on microarray chips including RNA, DNA and antibodies used to study RNA populations (gene expression), gene sequences (DNA), transcription factors, and protein populations. Kalorama notes the majority of Affymetrix's revenue comes from non-clinical end users such as academia, government, private research foundations, and industries. Aside from applied or operational testing in industry, non-clinical sales for Affymetrix predominate in basic and translational research. In the area of basic research, Affymetrix is a leading supplier of genotyping products to biobanks and biobanking initiatives such as in the United Kingdom.

"The acquisition of Affymetrix provides Thermo Fisher near comprehensive coverage in translational research in terms of the layers of systems biology," Salazar said.

Likely a key consideration for Thermo Fisher was Affymetrix's portfolio of FDA-cleared microarray products for use both directly as clinical tests or templates for third-party test development. Affymetrix's Gene Profiling Array platform uses FDA-cleared and CE-marked Gene Profiling Reagents intended for use in the development of clinical tests. 

Flow cytometry is a uniquely powerful tool with applications in both clinical diagnostics and life science research. As a life science and biotechnology conglomerate, Thermo Fisher already offers clients a number of antibodies, other reagents and assay kits for flow cytometry studies. The nearly $100 million eBioscience business under Affymetrix is a leader in flow cytometry reagents and other immunoassay reagents, offering its new parent company greater exposure to high-growth market areas such as single-cell biology and flow cancer testing.

Kalorama Information's World Market for Cancer Diagnostics and Proteomic Research Markets have detailed the recent activities of both companies. More information on both reports can be found at:  

About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information, a division of, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased through Kalorama's website and are also available on and

We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and our blog at  

Bruce Carlson
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