SUNNYVALE and PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Molecular Dynamics, Inc. and CLONTECH Laboratories, Inc. have signed an agreement to jointly develop and market specially prepared microscope slides that are prearrayed with up to 10,000 spots of cloned DNA material. Designed for high-throughput research and development environments, the prefabricated microarrays will help life scientists measure differential gene expression levels quickly and accurately in a number of human and model systems, enabling faster identification of therapeutic targets and development of diagnostic tests. Under the terms of the collaborative agreement, Molecular Dynamics will provide mechanical spotting instrumentation, software support, chemistry expertise, and access to key intellectual property. CLONTECH Laboratories will provide sequence-validated cDNAs generated using proprietary bioinformatics tools as well as other relevant technology utilized in their existing nylon Atlas(TM) cDNA Expression Arrays. Together the two companies will design and produce microarrays using their combined array expertise. Plans include the release of gene expression microarrays prespotted with cDNAs critical for the study of neurobiology, stress, and cancer and other diseases in human and model systems such as mouse and rat. Each microarray will have a set of a few hundred to a few thousand uniquely defined cDNA sequences (patents pending) of known genes selected for their importance in various critical cellular functions. Importantly for end users, the prefabricated microarrays are licensed under the issued and pending patents of Affymetrix through the license agreement between Molecular Dynamics and Affymetrix previously announced in December, 1997. Additionally, the genomic content provided by CLONTECH will be covered under the issued PCR patents of Roche. Integrated Microarray Solutions for Genetic Analysis Following initial testing and validation, the prefabricated cDNA expression microarrays will be made broadly available to the life sciences market through a joint marketing and support program. Over time, CLONTECH and Molecular Dynamics plan to develop and introduce a wide range of microarray products that will address an increasing number of life science applications. For testing and validation, early versions of these prefabricated microarrays will be made available to participants in the Microarray Technology Access Program (MTAP), which is jointly sponsored and administered by Molecular Dynamics and Amersham Pharmacia Biotech. MTAP participants will enjoy access to a fully integrated microarray platform, including microarray fabrication instrumentation, optical scanning instrumentation, optimized reagent chemistries for fluorescent detection, software for array quantitation and analysis, intellectual property, training and technical support. A Collaborative Approach The agreement between Molecular Dynamics and CLONTECH is the first of its kind to announce plans to develop and produce a broad range of licensed, prefabricated cDNA microarrays. The companies plan to extend their collaboration with additional activities in the rapidly growing field of functional genomics. About the Collaborators Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, CLONTECH Laboratories (www.clontech.com) is a provider of innovative enabling technologies to the life sciences research market. Using their expertise in several areas including PCR, genetic reporter systems, RNA technology, gene expression systems, and differential gene expression, the Company produces a wide range of innovative biological materials, kits, and support products that have proven to be highly valuable tools in various fields of life science research such as cancer research, neurobiology, pharmacology, cell biology, genomics, and functional genomics. CLONTECH also markets various membrane-based Atlas macroarrays drawn from an extensive in-house repository of sequence-validated cDNA clones. Molecular Dynamics (www.mdyn.com), based in Sunnyvale, California, is a leading developer, manufacturer and international marketer of systems that accelerate genetic discovery and analysis. The Company's products dramatically increase scientists' ability to visualize, quantify and analyze genetic information. Molecular Dynamics has been working with Amersham Pharmacia Biotech since 1994 to develop integrated systems for genetic analysis. Molecular Dynamics recently announced a merger agreement with Amersham Pharmacia Biotech. Following completion of the merger, Amersham Pharmacia Biotech will assume all rights and obligations of Molecular Dynamics under this agreement with the full consent of CLONTECH Laboratories. Amersham Pharmacia Biotech (www.apbiotech.com) is the world's largest supplier of enabling technology to the biotechnology industry, providing a wide range of reagents, systems and services focused on genomics research and pharmaceutical development. Headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden, the company has combined annual sales of approximately $700 million and employs 3,600 employees worldwide. Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including the timely shipment of new products, the effect of competitive pressures and other risks detailed from time to time in Molecular Dynamics' SEC reports, including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 1997, and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 1998.
SOURCE CLONTECH Laboratories, Inc.