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Disco(very) Dancing to a Slower Beat?

Executive Summary

SARS. Iraq. Recession. Terrorists. Risk aversion is in the air, and it hardly seems surprising that leading suppliers of discovery tools for studying gene expression are warning that their own businesses may suffer going forward. Roche and Merck say it's discovery-business-as-usual in Big Pharma, despite the fact that capital spending in the biotech sector has slowed. But some Wall Street analysts contend that customers are moving away from gene expression as a discovery vehicle. And such a point of view creates disturbing implications for the still unprofitable Affymetrix, which has yet to demonstrate that selling gene-based microarrays and related instrument systems is a model for a sustainable business.

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