Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX) today announced that it has launched Axiom™ Custom Genotyping Arrays, the newest addition to the Axiom Genotyping Solution. Researchers can now leverage Affymetrix' Axiom Genomic Database, the world's largest collection of validated common and rare SNPs, to create custom arrays containing 50,000 to as many as 2.6 million SNPs. This inherent flexibility allows researchers to conduct genome-wide association, replication, fine mapping, and candidate gene studies on a single platform.
“Affymetrix' new custom offering addresses new trends in genetic research by allowing a significant amount of flexibility”
Axiom Custom Genotyping Arrays deliver unparalleled flexibility in study design and maximize researchers' ability to generate meaningful data with the most relevant SNPs for their disease or cohort. Scientists can now create extremely precise array designs leveraging Affymetrix' Genomic Database, which includes 7.4 million SNPs from the 1000 Genomes Project, the International HapMap Project, and other sources. With more than 5 million validated SNPs, including more than 600,000 novel 1000 Genomes Project SNPs with a minor allele frequency (MAF) of less than 2.5 percent, the Axiom Genomic Database will enable researchers to study the role of rare variants in human disease by designing arrays with markers in specific MAF bins of their choice.
Researchers can also combine SNPs from their own sequencing projects and other sources with Affymetrix' validated SNPs to design arrays with up to 2.6 million SNPs. In the near future, this capability will expand to support custom array designs containing more than 5 million SNPs.
As large-scale genotyping studies begin to leverage newly discovered content, a large number of researchers are now interested in low-frequency variants and genetic diversity in a variety of populations, particularly Africans. Both of these trends signal the need for higher density arrays and the ability to customize content to maximize coverage in the population of interest.
"Affymetrix' new custom offering addresses new trends in genetic research by allowing a significant amount of flexibility," said Jay Kaufman, Vice President of DNA Product Marketing at Affymetrix. "Researchers can now create arrays consisting of 50,000 SNPs for focused or replication studies, a multi-sample array plate of millions of low-frequency variants, or an array tailored to the sample cohort being studied. This new multifaceted custom option will also enable scientists to quickly leverage the most recent and novel content as SNP discovery continues."
Researchers designing Axiom Custom Genotyping Arrays will receive design support and expertise from the Affymetrix team of bioinformatics scientists to ensure streamlined SNP selection and intelligently designed arrays that fulfill the objectives of their study.
Customers can also screen a representative subset of their sample cohort against approximately 5 million validated SNPs to gain valuable insights into linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure, minor allele frequency information, and assay performance to assist in the design of their custom array. This one-of-a-kind selection and design process provides another valuable tool for researchers to design highly optimized genotyping arrays based on empirical data rather than speculative marker selection. This database screening service is available through the Affymetrix Research Services Laboratory.
"As the needs of human disease research evolve with the rapid expansion of available markers, customization and flexibility have become increasingly important," said Kevin King, President and CEO of Affymetrix. "Researchers want to design studies to optimize their ability to answer key biological questions. Axiom Custom Genotyping Arrays enable them to do this with a wide range of formats, relevant content, and high-quality data to expedite their disease association studies."