) recently announced that its xMAP Technology will play a
significant role in the biobank profiling research within the
Human Protein Atlas (HPA) project. Shares of Luminex went up
roughly 1% in the trading session following the news release.
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Luminex's xMAP Technology will be deployed by the HPA project to
perform flexible and high-throughput screening of biomarkers
using the HPA antibodies on large numbers of samples. The same
technology will then be used to develop downstream biomarker
In the latest release of the protein atlas, the HPA announced
coverage of over 80% of the human protein-coding genes and RNA
(Ribonucleic acid) expression data for more than 90% of the
genes. The goal of this pioneering project is to explore the
entirety of the human proteome using antibody-based proteomics.
How The xMAP Technology Works
Luminex's xMAP Technology combines advanced fluidics, optics and
digital signal processing with proprietary microsphere technology
to deliver multiplexed assay capabilities.
Microsphere beads - either polystyrene or paramagnetic, are
color-coded in up to 500 distinct sets. Each bead set can be
coated with a reagent specific to a particular bioassay, allowing
the capture and detection of specific analytes from a sample.
Inside the Luminex analyzer, a light source excites the internal
dyes that identify each microsphere particle, as well as any
reporter dye captured during the assay. Multiple readings are
made on each bead set, which further validates the results.
Using this process, the xMAP Technology allows rapid and precise
multiplexing of up to 500 unique bioassays within a single
The Human Protein Atlas Project
The Swedish Human Protein Atlas project, funded by the Knut and
Alice Wallenberg Foundation, has been set up to allow for a
systematic exploration of the human proteome using Antibody-Based
Proteomics. The Human Protein Atlas, which started as a small
research project at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in 2000,
today involves more than 150 scientists in 17 countries.
In addition to its own research, the HPA collaborates with
partners to identify interesting candidate biomarkers for a wide
range of diseases. The xMAP technology enables scientists to
measure multiple proteins in a single well. The high-throughput
biomarker screening approach combines Luminex's technology with
several thousand antibodies through multiplexed screening of over
380 targets per well per run for the research.
Luminex is positive about the life science research market and
anticipates continued favorable trends with respect to demand
from its clinical customers. Though the company's assays business
faced reimbursement headwinds in 2013, management is certain that
these macroeconomic factors will subside in 2014. The company
continues to see strong demand for its technology and plans to
execute new product development programs in 2014.
Luminex expects revenues in the range of $225 to $240 million for
2014, an increase of 5 to 12% over 2013. The Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $230 million lies within the guided range.
Luminex presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked stocks worth reckoning in the medical instrument
Syneron Medical Ltd.
). While both Cynosure and Syneron Medical carry a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy), ABIOMED holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).