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Affymetrix, Inc.
Industry Biotechnology
Founded 1992
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, U.S.
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK
Tokyo, Japan
Shanghai, China
Number of locations
Key people
Stephen Fodor Frank Witney (CEO)
Revenue Increase US$327 Million (FY 2009)[1]
Decrease US$-30.6 Million (FY 2009)[1]
Decrease US$-23.9 Million (FY 2009)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$612 Million (FY 2009)[2]
Total equity Decrease US$288 Million (FY 2009)[2]
Number of employees

Affymetrix, Inc. is an American company that manufactures DNA microarrays; it is based in Santa Clara, California, United States. The company was founded by Dr. Stephen Fodor in 1992. It began as a unit in Affymax N.V. in 1991 by Fodor's group, which had in the late 1980s developed methods for fabricating DNA microarrays, called "GeneChip" according to the Affymetrix trademark, using semiconductor manufacturing techniques. The company's first product, an HIV genotyping GeneChip, was introduced in 1994 and the company went public in 1996. As a result of its pioneering work and the ensuing popularity of microarray products, Affymetrix derives significant benefit from its patent portfolio in this area.

Affymetrix has taken over Genetic MicroSystems for slide-based microarrays and scanners,[4] Neomorphic for bioinformatics,[5] ParAllele Bioscience for custom SNP genotyping, USB/Anatrace for biochemical reagents,[6] eBioscience for flow cytometry,[7] and Panomics and True Materials to expand its offering of low to mid-plex applications.[8][9][10][11] In 2000, Perlegen Sciences spun out from Affymetrix to focus on wafer-scale genomics for massive data creation and collection required for characterizing population variance of genomic markers and expression for the drug discovery process.

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced on January 8, 2016 the acquisition of Affymetrix for approximately $1.3 billion.[12][13] The acquisition is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2016.[13] The acquisition will enhance their diagnostic equipment offerings and lead to 10s of millions of dollars in savings in the first few years after completion of the deal.[14]

Description of product[edit]

Example of two Affymetrix chips

Affymetrix makes quartz chips for analysis of DNA Microarrays called GeneChip arrays. Affymetrix's GeneChip arrays assist researchers in quickly scanning for the presence of particular genes in a biological sample. Within this area, Affymetrix is focused on oligonucleotide microarrays. These microarrays are used to determine which genes exist in a sample by detecting specific pieces of mRNA. A single chip can be used to analyze thousands of genes in one assay. Chips can be used only once.

Affymetrix sells both mass-produced GeneChip arrays intended to match scientifically important parts of human and other animal genomes. Affymetrix manufactures its GeneChip arrays using photolithography. The company also manufactures machinery for high speed analysis of biological samples.

Affymetrix GeneChip Operating Software is a software system for managing Affymetrix microarray data.

Competitors in the DNA Microarray business include Illumina, GE Healthcare, Applied Biosystems, Beckman Coulter, Eppendorf Biochip Systems [1], and Agilent. There are also various inexpensive plastic-based technologies under development in small companies and laboratories around the world. It has been widely speculated that mass-produced plastic chips can be produced at lower prices than Affymetrix's quartz chips.

FDA approval[edit]

The Food and Drug Administration in January 2014 cleared a first-of-a-kind whole-genome postnatal blood test that can aid physicians in identifying the underlying genetic cause of developmental delay, intellectual disability, congenital anomalies, or dysmorphic features in children. This test, known as CytoScan Dx Assay, is designed to diagnose these disabilities earlier to expedite appropriate care and support. "About 2 to 3 percent of U.S. children have some sort of intellectual disability, according to the National Institutes of Health." [15]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Affymetrix (AFFX) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest
  2. ^ a b Affymetrix (AFFX) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest
  3. ^ "Company Profile for Affymetrix Inc (AFFX)". Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  4. ^ "Affymetrix Acquires Genetic MicroSystems". Bioresearch Online. 1999-09-14. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  5. ^ "Affymetrix Announces Definitive Merger Agreement With Neomorphic, Inc.". Affymetrix. October 2000. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  6. ^ "Affymetrix Acquisition of USB — Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Affymetrix. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  7. ^ "Affymetrix and eBioscience Amend Definitive Merger Agreement". Affymetrix. May 2012. Retrieved 2015-01-24. 
  8. ^ "Affymetrix to acquire Panomics" (PDF). Affymetrix. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  9. ^ "Affymetrix acquires bead-based technology". BNET. 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  10. ^ "Affymetrix and Singapore-based Start-up PathGEN Dx Sign Partnership for Diagnostic Test Development for Pathogen Detection". Reuters. 2012-08-24. 
  11. ^ "Singapore scientists develop chip that can identify 70,000 viruses". 
  12. ^ "Thermo Fisher Scientific to Acquire Affymetrix" (Press release). Affymetrix. 8 January 2016 – via BusinessWire. [self-published source?]
  13. ^ a b Armental, Maria (8 January 2016). "Thermo Fisher Scientific to Buy Affymetrix in $1.3 Billion Cash Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 
  14. ^ Harrison, Crayton (8 January 2016). "Thermo Fisher Agrees to Acquire Affymetrix for $1.3 Billion". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 
  15. ^
  • "Affymetrix - Corporate History". Affymetrix. Archived from the original on 2006-11-07. Retrieved 2006-11-20.  Note: reference includes all child pages and documents of this page, inclusive. There is some contradiction in specific details of the founding of Affymetrix among documents found here.