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GENpathway Inc. To Offer First Available Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Assays And Analysis Using Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California) (AFFX) GeneChip(R) Tiling Arrays


9/26/2006 11:30:00 AM

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Genpathway announced today that it will begin offering genome-wide DNA methylation assays, analysis, and services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and academic/institutional researchers. These new assays are an expansion of Genpathway's recently announced offering of comprehensive ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation)-on-Chip assays, analysis, and services for scientists using the new Affymetrix GeneChip(R) Tiling Arrays. The new Genpathway Methylated DNA IP-on-Chip(TM) assays are the only commercially available assays capable of detecting and quantifying DNA methylation patterns across the entire genome, made possible by combining Genpathway's DNA IP assays and services with the high-throughput, whole-genome analysis capabilities of Affymetrix tiling arrays.

Researchers are using the new DNA methylation and ChIP-on-Chip assays and analysis to:

* discover and validate biomarkers for cancer and other diseases * identify and validate new drug targets * screen compounds * detect disease stage and follow disease progression * stratify patients for clinical trials * create improved predictive diagnostics * design new targeted therapies * monitor response to treatment

"Because methylated DNA changes may be reversible, gaining an understanding of their patterns in normal vs. diseased cells may lead to new treatment paradigms," said Mary Warren, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Genpathway. "Scientists have been evaluating methylation signatures in oncogenes and tumor suppressors, and there are many other diseases for which characterization of DNA methylation patterns may be useful for identifying disease and drug mechanisms, and for developing new diagnostic tests and therapeutic approaches."

"Combining Affymetrix' genome-wide tiling arrays with Genpathway's assays, analysis, and services is a very powerful combination of technologies that provides customers with an immediate, total solution for analyzing gene transcription, gene regulation by transcription factors, and epigenetic changes," said Benjamin Monderer, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Genpathway. "We are pleased to be teaming up with Affymetrix to provide this latest offering -- the first high-throughput, whole-genome method to detect DNA methylation without sequence limitations -- for scientists working in many diverse areas ranging from basic research through drug discovery and preclinical/clinical R&D."

"DNA methylation is a critical marker for cancer researchers. Genpathway's methylation assay combined with the Affymetrix GeneChip Tiling Arrays provides researchers with a complete solution to study methylation events across genomes," said Alicia Burt, Product Line Manager at Affymetrix. "We are proud to be working closely with Genpathway to provide total solutions to both pharmaceutical and academic researchers."

Genpathway is offering three types of assays for discovery and characterization of methylated DNA regions:

* Genpathway Methylated DNA IP-on-Chip/Tiling(TM): Genome-wide assay using whole-genome tiling arrays * Genpathway Methylated DNA IP-on-Chip/Promoter(TM): Detection of methylated DNA in promoter regions * Genpathway Methylated DNA Query(TM): Gene-by-gene analysis based on quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) About DNA Methylation

DNA methylation is an epigenetic process cells use to control gene expression. Methylation occurs when a methyl group is added to one of DNA's four bases, cytosine. DNA methylation patterns change during development and aging and in response to environmental factors. Methylation is typically associated with genes that are silenced, and faulty methylation prevents cells from properly expressing their genetic information. A growing body of evidence suggests that aberrant DNA methylation has significant implications in cancer and other diseases in which DNA silencing is an issue, and that changes in the patterns of DNA methylation are common in human tumors, including both genome- wide hypomethylation and region-specific hypermethylation. The ability to detect methylation disturbances across the genome with high sensitivity, accuracy, and reproducibility may provide important new approaches for identifying and treating disease and developing improved diagnostic tests.

ABOUT GENPATHWAY (www.genpathway.com)

Genpathway, Inc. is a leading provider of ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) and DNA methylation technologies and services that identify and analyze gene expression mechanisms and their biological pathways to drive discovery and testing of novel pharmaceuticals, biomarkers, and diagnostic tests. Genpathway's assays directly analyze gene transcription, gene regulation by transcription factors and epigenetic changes, and the corresponding genetic pathways. These assays, provided as a service by Genpathway, are in use by the top pharmaceutical companies as well as biotechnology, diagnostics, and agriculture companies; and by academic, government, and nonprofit research institutes worldwide.

ABOUT AFFYMETRIX (www.affymetrix.com)

Affymetrix scientists invented the world's first high-density microarray in 1989 and began selling the first commercial microarray in 1994. Since then, Affymetrix GeneChip(R) technology has become the industry standard in molecular biology research. Affymetrix technology is used by the world's top pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology companies as well as leading academic, government and not-for-profit research institutes. More than 1,400 systems have been installed around the world and more than 7,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published using the technology. Affymetrix' patented photolithographic manufacturing process provides the most information capacity available today on an array, enabling researchers to use a whole-genome approach to analyzing the relationship between genetics and health. Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., with manufacturing facilities in Sacramento, Calif., and Bedford, Mass. The company maintains important sales and marketing operations in Europe and Asia and has about 1,100 employees worldwide. For more information about Affymetrix, please visit the company's website at www.affymetrix.com.

Contact: For Genpathway: Mary Moynihan M2Friend Biocommunications (802) 951-9600 mary@m2friend.com For Affymetrix: Lisa Osborne Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (202) 326-0793 lisao@waggeneredstrom.com

Genpathway

CONTACT: Mary Moynihan of M2Friend Biocommunications, +1-802-951-9600,mary@m2friend.com for Genpathway; or Lisa Osborne of Waggener EdstromWorldwide, +1-202-326-0793, lisao@waggeneredstrom.com for Affymetrix


Read at BioSpace.com

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