Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX) today announced the expansion of its Axiom product line with the launch of the Axiom™ Genome-Wide CHB 1 Array, the first commercial product to maximize genetic coverage of common alleles in Han Chinese populations. This array is the third population-designed array for the Axiom™ Genotyping Solution and one of several additional arrays commercialized this year.

The Axiom Genome-Wide CHB 1 Array is a powerful tool for characterizing the genetic basis of disease and studying disease associations in Han Chinese populations. To design the array, researchers at the Bio-X Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Beijing’s Fuwai Hospital took advantage of more than 10 million validated markers in the Axiom Genomic Database, including content drawn from the 1000 Genomes Project, as well as Han Chinese data made available through the International HapMap Project. The Axiom Genome-Wide CHB 1 Array has proven so successful in customer studies that Affymetrix fully commercialized it so other researchers could benefit from studies using this array.

“We are very happy with the performance of the Axiom CHB Array,” said Dr. Yong Yong Shi, Associate Professor and Group Leader in the Nutrition & Health Research Base, Bio-X Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China. “We knew a population-optimized approach would offer more power to detect disease associations. This has been confirmed by the fact that we’ve already found several novel associations with hypertension that we are currently validating and we hope to publish our findings before the end of the year.”

The Axiom Genome-Wide CHB 1 Array optimizes genomic coverage of common alleles from the Han Chinese genome. Compared to competing arrays with a similar number of markers, it has the highest coverage of variants in important biological categories such as the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Catalog of Published Genome-Wide Association Studies, Sanger Cancer Genome Census genes, MHC genes, cardiovascular genes, and immune and inflammation pathway genes. The array also offers coverage across chromosomes X and Y, the mitochondrial genome, and drug metabolism genes (ADMET).

“Our Axiom Genome-Wide Arrays allow researchers to better match cases and controls within ethnic groups so they focus only on differences by disease state, not structural differences between populations," said Andy Last, Chief Commercial Officer at Affymetrix. "The Axiom Genome-Wide CHB 1 Array is ideally suited to customers interested in exploring the genetic complexities underlying disease in Han Chinese populations and in populations of Chinese descent.”

The complete Axiom Genotyping Solution consists of a suite of population-designed array plates, the new Axiom 2.0 Reagent Kit, an automated target preparation station developed jointly by Affymetrix and Beckman Coulter, the GeneTitan® Instrument, and new Genotyping Console™ Software 4.1 for automated allele calling and quality control. The GeneTitan Instrument integrates a hybridization oven, fluidics processing, CCD imaging device, and analysis software for maximum data reproducibility, user productivity, and scalability. Scientists can run more than 760 samples per week with only one full-time technician and minimal user intervention, which is a significant advantage over competing products.

About Affymetrix

Affymetrix technology is used by the world's top pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and biotechnology companies, as well as leading academic, government, and nonprofit research institutes. More than 2,000 systems have been shipped around the world and more than 23,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published using the technology.

Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., and has manufacturing facilities in Santa Clara, Cleveland, Ohio, and Singapore. The company has about 900 employees worldwide and maintains sales and distribution operations across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. For more information about Affymetrix, please visit www.affymetrix.com.

Forward-looking statements

All statements in this press release that are not historical are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act as amended, including statements regarding Affymetrix’ “expectations,” “beliefs,” “hopes,” “intentions,” “strategies” or the like. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially for Affymetrix from those projected. These and other risk factors are discussed in Affymetrix’ Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and other SEC reports for subsequent quarterly periods.

NOTE: Affymetrix, the Affymetrix logo, Axiom, and myDesign are trademarks or registered trademarks of Affymetrix Inc. Beckman Coulter ® and Biomek ® are registered trademarks of Beckman Coulter, Inc. Beckman Coulter Biomek Systems are for Laboratory Use Only; not for use in diagnostic procedures.

Copyright Business Wire 2010