Affymetrix Inc.AFFX recently announced the selection of its Axiom Genotyping platform by the Green Super Rice (GSR) Project for the development of at least 15 varieties of rice over the next three years. The assortment will then be distributed to small-hold farmers across sixteen countries in Africa and Asia, including China.
The Green Super Rice variety is the result of a project started way back in 1998, which involved the painstaking crossbreeding of more than 250 different potential varieties and rice hybrids. The project - designed to increase rice productivity by 20% in target countries - is being funded by the Chinese government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Affymetrix's Axiom platform was selected because of its unmatched ability to screen millions of markers and accurately transfer them to smaller 384HT format arrays. The genotyping array, designed specially for the project, uses a novel SNP genotyping marker screening process. This can precisely screen more than 2 million selected rice SNP markers to spot applicable and important markers.
We believe that this contract win will increase the visibility of Affymetrix's Axiom genotyping platform in Africa and Asia, which will help the company gain better market traction in the region.
The Axiom platform continues to be a key growth catalyst for Affymetrix. In Apr 2015, the company announced a strategic collaboration with EverGene for genetic research and personal genomics services in Japan. Affymetrix will support EverGene by supplying Axiom Genotyping Solution to precisely measure genetic variation.
Last year, Affymetrix was chosen by Toshiba's Healthcare Company as the platform for its newly launched genotyping service. Affymetrix teamed up with Toshiba to custom design and help in manufacturing the Japonica Array, which is based on the Axiom Genotyping platform. The array, containing unique genetic content, is designed by Affymetrix for the Japanese population.
According to a market research firm, MarketsandMarkets, the global genotyping market is expected to grow from $6.2 billion in 2015 to $17 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 22.3%. We believe Affymetrix is poised to grow in such a favorable environment.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Currently, Affymetrix carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other well-placed stocks in the medical sector include Masimo MASI , NuVasive NUVA and Thoratec THOR . All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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