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Agilent Technologies expands microarray technology agreement to National Cancer Institute extramural researchers


Access to emerging techniques enables more scientists to study cancer from multiple perspectives, speed progress toward 2015 goal

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 1, 2005

Citing growing demand for emerging microarray applications that complement gene expression studies, Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the extension of its technology access program to National Cancer Institute (NCI) extramural researchers. The NCI funds approximately 4,500 research grants a year.

NCI extramural researchers can now obtain Agilent’s microarray solutions for comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), ChIP-on-chip (also known as location analysis), and gene expression under the agreement. NCI’s intramural Center for Cancer Research (CCR) already has access to the Agilent microarray technology.

“The NCI’s goal is to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer by 2015, and growing numbers of researchers realize that this can’t be achieved using gene expression data alone,” said Fran DiNuzzo, Agilent Life Science and Chemical Analysis vice president and general manager, Integrated Biology Solutions. “We’re focused on providing the genomics tools to help scientists study pathways from multiple perspectives, link applications with well-designed bioinformatics systems, and thus reach useful discoveries faster.”

Microarray-based CGH is being recognized as a powerful technique for pinpointing genomic gains and losses associated with cancer and other genetic-based diseases. A paper in the December 2004 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) demonstrates that oligonucleotide arrays designed for CGH provide a robust and precise platform for detecting chromosomal alterations with high sensitivity, even in complex samples such as those used by oncology investigators.

ChIP-on-chip is an emerging microarray application for determining where proteins bind to regulatory regions of DNA. The September 2005 issue of Cell published a paper by professor Richard Young’s laboratory at the Whitehead Institute, validating the effectiveness of this technique by examining key transcriptional regulators of stem cells. The prior month’s issue described the utility of location analysis in producing high-resolution maps of histone acetylation and methylation in yeast. This technique is important, as changes in chromatin structure play an important role in the silencing of certain genes in cancer, and histone deacetylase inhibitors have demonstrated anti-cancer effect.

“We observe very impressive enrichment upon immunoprecipitation with these microarrays, and the dynamic range of the signal in the IP channel is excellent -- the background signal is extremely low,” said Dr. Brian Dynlacht, director of Genomics Program for New York University’s Cancer Institute, an NCI extramural researcher referring to his use of Agilent’s mammalian location analysis microarrays.

The technology access program includes Agilent reagents, catalog and custom microarrays, instrumentation, and software. In addition to providing promotional pricing, the program encourages broad publication of scientific results. It is designed to facilitate collaborations between academic, governmental and commercial researchers.

About Agilent in Genomics

Agilent is a leading provider of complete microarray-based research solutions with customers worldwide. With its proprietary ink-jet based manufacturing technique, Agilent provides highly sensitive 60-mer oligo microarrays in custom and catalog formats. Agilent recently acquired Computational Biology Corp., founded by professors Richard Young and David Gifford of MIT and the Whitehead Institute. The acquisition provides access to expertise in location analysis and patents in this area. Researchers can now access the Encode, Yeast, Human and Mouse promoter arrays.

Agilent also offers a 48-slide, high-throughput microarray scanner, the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer with LabChip kits for sample quality analysis, feature extraction software, Silicon Genetics software products, Rosetta gene expression data analysis systems and a range of reagents. Product information is available online at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 27,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $5.1 billion in fiscal 2005. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at


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