News | September 14, 1999

Affymetrix Acquires Genetic MicroSystems

Affymetrix Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Genetic MicroSystems Inc. (GMS; Woburn, MA), a privately held instrumentation company specializing in DNA array technology. GMS manufactures and markets exportable instruments for fabricating and analyzing DNA arrays.

Under the terms of the agreement, Affymetrix will issue approximately one million shares of common stock (approximately 4% of the outstanding common stock of Affymetrix) for all of the outstanding shares of GMS. The transaction, which is still subject to GMS stockholder and regulatory approval, is expected to close in January 2000.

According to Stephen P.A. Fodor, chairman and CEO of Affymetrix, the company has received customer feedback highlighting the need for low volume, user-defined DNA arrays. "These 'spotted arrays' are proving to be a complementary tool for analyzing unknown genes or for more directed studies of particular genes of interest," he said. "The acquisition of GMS will allow us to immediately enter this array market and thus provide an integrated solution to accelerate the adoption of DNA array technologies in the scientific research community."

GMS current products are the GMS 417 Arrayer and GMS 418 Array Scanner. The GMS 417 Arrayer utilizes a proprietary moving-reservoir, Pin-and-Ring arraying mechanism designed to provide greater consistency of spotted array elements. The GMS 418 Array Scanner uses a unique Flying Objective laser optics system that rapidly captures images with great sensitivity.

After the merger, Affymetrix intends to offer the GMS product line as a complement to its GeneChip platform for creating low-volumes of microarrays using both known and unknown genes. The company will alsol continue to market its GeneChip platform. After closing, the companies will work together to enhance existing software, instrumentation, and applications support.

Affymetrix has developed its GeneChip system as a platform for acquiring, analyzing, and managing complex genetic information to improve the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease. The company's GeneChip system consists of disposable DNA probe arrays containing gene sequences on a chip, reagents for use with the probe arrays, a scanner and other instruments to process the probe arrays, and software to analyze and manage genetic information.

For more information: Affymetrix Inc., 3380 Central Expwy., Santa Clara, CA 95051. Tel: 408-731-5000. Fax: 408-481-0422.