Applied Biosystems launches Assays-on-Demand SNP genotyping and gene expression products

July 10, 2002

FOSTER CITY, CA - July 10, 2002 - Applied Biosystems Group (NYSE:ABI), an Applera Corporation business, today announced the launch of its biologically informative Assays-on-Demand products, the most comprehensive product line yet introduced based on information derived from the human genome. This is the first commercial product line to emerge from genomic data from both the public and private sector human genome sequencing projects. The Assays-on-Demand products leverage data from Celera Genomics Group (NYSE:CRA), Applied Biosystems' sister business group, The SNP Consortium (TSC), the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and the Japanese SNP database (JSNP).

The Assays-on-Demand products represent the broadest collection of functionally validated, ready-to-use assays based on the human genome and are the first commercial products resulting from the Applera Genomics Initiative announced in July 2001. The initial set consists of 77,000 assays for SNP genotyping and 4400 assays for quantitative gene expression analysis and is designed using Applied Biosystems' bioinformatics pipeline and proprietary software algorithms. For every assay produced, the target sequence is subjected to an extensive selection and quality control process to screen for those assays that are specific to the gene or SNP of interest for improved specificity and optimal assay design. Additional assays for both gene expression and SNP genotyping are expected to be released on an ongoing basis over the coming months through the Applied Biosystems Knowledge Business. Ultimately, Applied Biosystems plans to offer a genome-wide selection of off-the-shelf SNP assays and a gene expression assay for nearly every human gene and major splice variant.

"By combining information discovered in the sequencing of the human genome with our subsequent resequencing work through the Applera Genomics Initiative, the Applied Biosystems Knowledge Business is providing information-rich products and services that we believe can revolutionize the way scientists work," said Michael W. Hunkapiller, Ph.D., President of Applied Biosystems. "The Assays-on-Demand product line should accelerate the path to discovery by enabling scientists to accomplish their research objectives in days or weeks rather than months or years. They are also important tools in realizing the promise of personalized medicine, in which therapeutic agents can be customized to the specific needs of individual patients."

Leading research universities and life science companies have been a part of an early access program for the Assays-on-Demand" products since Spring 2002. Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany is among one of the academic early access partners.

"By using these assays for our systematic disease association studies, we can work more effectively to identify possible mutations that may be associated with the predisposition of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), sarcoidosis, psoriasis and peridontitis," said Stefan Schreiber, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany. "In the past, we would have spent several months sifting through genomic data, developing, designing, validating and optimizing our own assays. With Applied Biosystems' approach, we can begin performing our association studies within two to three weeks from the time of ordering these new validated and ready-to-use Assays-on-Demand SNP Genotyping Products. With this strategy we could generate more than 1.5 million SNP genotypes within a few months."

Gene Expression Assays

The 4400 quantitative gene expression assays now available are intended for target identification, disease characterization, disease classification, pathway elucidation, drug metabolism, functional studies, and validation of microarray data in human disease research and drug development studies. The initial set of single-tube, pre-designed Assays-on-Demand gene expression products are expected to include an assay for each of the more than 15,000 well-characterized transcripts in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Reference Sequence (RefSeq) Project database. Gene expression assays can be selected by gene name, gene symbol, RefSeq or GenBank ID, functional category and other identifiers. Additional gene expression assays are expected to be available later this summer. More information is available at

SNP Genotyping Assays

Each of the 77,000 SNP genotyping assays includes ready-to-use, functionally validated assays for candidate gene association, candidate region association, linkage mapping and linkage disequilibrium studies. All SNP genotyping assays include information derived from the DNA of 90 individuals from two distinct DNA populations. This information is used to validate the performance of the assay in a laboratory setting and to determine allele frequency, which is important for mapping purposes. SNP products can be selected by NCBI gene or SNP reference ID, gene name/symbol/family, position within a genome location, reference marker, SNP type and allele frequency. These SNP genotyping products provide a high-resolution, gene-centric marker map that should be useful for researchers performing association studies for disease states, potential drug candidates and drug response.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which occur up to every 100-300 bases in both coding and noncoding regions of the genome, account for the majority of DNA sequence variation in humans. Although SNP research is still evolving, the implications for drug discovery, clinical drug trials, biomedical research and diagnostics offer great promise. Additional assays are expected to become available over the coming months from well-characterized and validated SNPs throughout the human genome. More information is available at

Product Components

All the Assays-on-Demand products are optimized for use on the ABI PRISM® 7900HT, 7700, and 7000 Sequence Detection Systems. These ready-to-use assays provide accurate, reproducible data, and provide researchers with the ability to screen a greater number of targets faster, easier and more cost-effectively.

The Applied Biosystems Knowledge Business

As announced on April 22, 2002, Applied Biosystems became the exclusive distributor of the Celera Discovery System online platform and began integrating data with information from other genomic databases to be marketed by the Applied Biosystems Knowledge Business. The Knowledge Business is focused on generating value to life science customers through products and services with high information content that support improved experimental research workflows. In addition to the Assays-on-Demand products, the Knowledge Business also offers the Assays-by-Design service, a line of custom-made assays where researchers supply the desired target and Applied Biosystems designs and manufactures the assays. The Assays-by-Design service uses Applied Biosystems' proprietary software algorithms to customers' unique target sequences to yield an optimal assay design.

Sophisticated Online Ordering System

The Assays-on-Demand™ products can be ordered through the recently enhanced Applied Biosystems e-commerce site at Developed in collaboration with Celera Genomics, this web interface offers a choice of powerful search options that enable researchers to quickly identify the assays relevant to their research. Search options include key words, chromosomal location, molecular function, and batch ID searches that allow one to import a file of many targets to search simultaneously. Customers are provided with Celera, RefSeq, and reagent ID's as well as other pertinent biological information and they may browse the online catalog free of charge. All products are assigned a 2-D barcode for reliable tracking and they can be ordered by set or individually. New assay products will be added to the site as they become available.
Product fact sheets and video footage for the Assays-on-Demand product line can be found by visiting the "Press Kit" web page within the "About Us" section of the Applied Biosystems web site at Video footage can also be downloaded by visiting

About Applera Corporation and Applied Biosystems

Applera Corporation comprises two operating groups. The Applied Biosystems Group develops and markets instrument-based systems, reagents, software, and contract services to the life science industry and research community. Customers use these tools to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), small molecules, and proteins to make scientific discoveries leading to the development of new pharmaceuticals, and to conduct standardized testing. Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of $1.6 billion during fiscal 2001. The Celera Genomics Group, located in Rockville, MD and South San Francisco, CA, is engaged principally in integrating advanced technologies to discover and develop new therapeutics. Celera intends to leverage its genomics and proteomics technology platforms to identify drug targets and diagnostic marker candidates, and to discover novel therapeutics. Its Celera Discovery System online platform, marketed exclusively through the Knowledge Business of Applied Biosystems, is an integrated source of information based on the human genome and other biological and medical sources. Celera Diagnostics, a joint venture between Applied Biosystems and Celera Genomics, is focused on discovery, development, and commercialization of novel diagnostics tests. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available on the World Wide Web at or by telephoning 800.762.6923. Information about Applied Biosystems is available on the World Wide Web at For product information and technical support, dial: 800.899.5858.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "believe," "expect," "should," and "planned," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on Applera Corporation's current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, Applera Corporation notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include but are not limited to (1) rapidly changing technology and dependence on development of new products; (2) unproven use of genomics information to develop or commercialize products; (3) successful integration of CDS into the Knowledge Business product offering and market acceptance and adoption of the product offering; (4) sales dependent on customers' capital spending policies and government-sponsored research; (5) and other factors that might be described from time to time in Applera Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Applera does not undertake any duty to update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless required by law.

Copyright © 2002. Applera Corporation. All Rights Reserved. ABI PRISM and Applied Biosystems are registered trademarks and Applera, Assays-by-Design, Assays-on-Demand, Celera, Celera Diagnostics, Celera Discovery System, and Celera Genomics are trademarks of Applera Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and certain other countries.

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