Genetic products maker
) recently announced that it has entered into a global distribution
agreement with ScreenCell, a medical devices company, which
specializes in isolating rare circulatory cells. Under the
agreement, Affymetrix will be the sole distributor of ScreenCell's
Circulatory Tumour Cells ("CTC") Technology, to be used only for
Affymetrix has launched the QuantiGene ViewRNA CTC Platform,
which combines ScreenCell's unique isolation devices with
Affymetrix's own QuantiGene ViewRNA in situ hybridization ("ISH")
assays to identify single RNA transcripts in single CTC and other
rare cells with high precision. The company believes that this
latest addition to the Expression business will revolutionize
cancer treatment in a big way as it will enable quick and
cost-effective translational research.
ScreenCell devices can also be used with a host of other assays
such as microarray assays, ISH assays, GeneChip Microarray assays
and QuantiGenePlex assays.
Privately-owned ScreenCell specializes in developing
non-invasive technology for isolating rare circulating cells
yielding free of any bias CTC population to be used for cancer
Affymetrix is a leading provider of microarray-based products
and services to the global research community. Along with
), it is one of the two major providers of microarray technologies,
primarily used in the field of genetic research.
Affymetrix is expanding its customer base through new product
launches and strategic alliances. Moreover, the company is pursuing
a number of strategies (including expansion into new markets) aimed
at expanding its top line.
Affymetrix is shifting its research and development (R&D)
focus from discovery and exploration markets to the faster-growing
validation and routine testing markets. The company reckons
cytogenetics and cancer research as promising areas for expansion,
representing market opportunities of roughly $200 million and $500
However, Affymetrix is operating in an intensely competitive
industry and faces risks associated with lower R&D spending by
its customers due to a soft economy and government actions
including budget cuts.
Affymetrix is exposed to a volatile funding environment. The
company has been facing uncertainties surrounding National
Institutes of Health ("NIH") funding. Decline in government
research grants may substantially affect the company's
We currently have an Underperform rating on Affymetrix. The
stock retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).
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