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Fluidigm Completes C1™ Single-Cell Auto Prep System Early Access Program

Stocks in this article: FLDM

Fluidigm Corporation (NASDAQ:FLDM) announced that its C 1™ Single-Cell Auto Prep system Early Access Program (EAP) has concluded. The EAP originally targeted 25 customers that would gain early access to the new platform, protocols and consumables. The program attracted significant interest, filling up weeks before its expected end-of-2012 deadline. To accommodate interested customers, the company allowed oversubscription of the program.

"We have been excited and humbled by the enthusiastic reception the C 1 system has received. Our customers have demonstrated a high level of interest in the C 1 Early Access Program and the number of them that have signed up to participate is clearly a record for Fluidigm,” said Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm President and Chief Executive Officer. “The C 1 system is the most powerful device for single-cell genomics available today because it enables a wide range of genomic applications for our customers to discover and validate novel transcripts in heterogeneous cell populations. We are just at the beginning stages of an important market that will fuel genomic discovery over the next decade.”

The C 1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System enables researchers to study cell differentiation, measure individual cell responses to specific stimuli, verify critical disease biomarkers, validate RNAi knockdown, and conduct candidate drug screens. “We are thrilled to be working with an elite set of customers in our Early Access Program. They represent a global group of scientists from the world’s leading genomics research institutions. They have a genuine enthusiasm about the prospect of applying C 1 system capabilities to their research and many have begun experimental design and initial work on the systems. We believe they will generate some breakthrough biological discoveries,” added Worthington.

"As one of the first academic users of the Fluidigm C 1 Single Cell Auto Prep system, my research team at UC San Diego will benefit by the development of this advanced, single-cell technology. The system will support our commitment to engaging our expertise in RNA and genome-wide computational methods to deciphering heterogeneity in RNA processing in single cells, especially in the developing nervous system and in neurodegenerative diseases,” noted Gene Yeo, PhD, MBA, Assistant Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego.

“Single-cell analyses are critical for our cellular reprogramming research because each cell undergoes a fate change in a unique way. Averaging the changes over many cells masks important reprogramming events in individual cells that dramatically alter their fate,” said Deepak Srivastava, Director of Cardiovascular and Stem Cell Research, Gladstone Institutes. “We are thrilled to be part of the Fluidigm C 1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System’s Early Access Program and look forward to using this exciting new technology to accelerate our single-cell research efforts.”

“We are delighted to be one of the first users of the Fluidigm C 1 system. One of our first projects will involve the analysis of neurons directly converted from skin fibroblasts. The C 1 system will allow us to look at markers specific for subtypes of neurons at a single-cell resolution while assessing the conversion rate collectively in the population of converted neurons,” said Seth Crosby, Director, Partnerships and Alliances at Washington University School of Medicine. “The Fluidigm C 1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System will be available in our facility on a fee-for-service basis for both WashU and non-WashU researchers,” Crosby added.

“The C 1 system allows us to capture up to 96 individual cells at one time and prepare them for further analysis,” says Vivian Gersuk, PhD, manager of the Genomics Core Laboratory of the Benaroya Research Institute. “We can study hundreds to thousands of genes in each of these cells, allowing us to produce huge amounts of data in a matter of hours.”

The C 1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System is the first commercially available platform for automated isolation and preparation of individual cells for genomic analysis. The C 1 system, based on Fluidigm’s innovative microfluidic technology, enables a researcher to isolate, process and summarize the unique gene expression profiles of individual cells rapidly and reliably. For the first time, a researcher can easily isolate single cells, extract RNA, then reverse transcribe and amplify mRNA transcripts to ultimately detect and analyze cell activity — dramatically reducing the variability and technical errors caused by multi-platform workflows that have been previously used. By delivering an integrated workflow, Fluidigm is enabling researchers to implement targeted gene expression, miRNA analysis and whole transcriptome analysis in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

Fluidigm’s Early Access Program for the C 1 system provided a select group of customers with the preferred access of instruments equipped with a package of startup consumables (integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs) and reagents), and provides first access to new application protocols or analysis tools. The EAP participants actively contribute information about their experiences with the C 1 system to Fluidigm to accelerate the development of new platform capabilities. The C 1 system is specifically designed to work seamlessly with the Fluidigm BioMark™ HD System to enhance the workflow and reliability of data for scientists studying single-cell genomics.

The C 1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System consists of:

  • C 1 Single-Cell Auto Prep instrument that provides breakthrough bench-top automation of isolation, lysis and amplification performed on single cells.
  • C 1 Single-Cell Auto Prep Array IFCs that facilitate capture and highly paralleled preparation of up to 96 individual cells.
  • C 1 Single-Cell Auto Prep Reagent Kit, a pre-formulated “ready to use” reagent kit that supports cell suspension, lysis and purification.

For more information about the C 1 Single Cell Auto Prep system, please visit www.fluidigm.com/c1system.

Use of Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to Fluidigm’s new C 1 system, Fluidigm’s expectations with respect to the development of a market for single cell genomic analysis and discovery, Fluidigm’s plans, objectives, expectations and strategies relating to the C 1 system, and potential developments in the markets that the C 1 system is anticipated to target. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from currently anticipated results, including challenges inherent in developing, manufacturing, and launching new products and risks relating to research and development activities and the growth of new and developing markets. Information on these and additional risks affecting Fluidigm’s business and operating results are contained in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and Fluidigm disclaims any obligation to update these statements.

About Fluidigm

Fluidigm (NASDAQ:FLDM) develops, manufactures and markets microfluidic systems for growth markets in the life science and agricultural biotechnology, or Ag-Bio, industries. Fluidigm’s proprietary microfluidic systems consist of instruments and consumables, including integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs), assays and other reagents. These systems are designed to significantly simplify experimental workflow, increase throughput and reduce costs, while providing the excellent data quality demanded by customers. Fluidigm actively markets four microfluidic systems, including thirteen different IFCs, to leading academic institutions, diagnostic laboratories, and pharmaceutical, biotechnology and Ag-Bio companies. Fluidigm products are marketed for research purposes only (not for diagnostic use).

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