Affymetrix: Taking the Long View
Affymetrix can succeed long term if gene expression proves to be a viable method for assaying disease. For now, that core question-the extent to which genotype correlates with phenotype-is as much a matter of philosophy as it is demonstrable fact. But making that determination will take time-and much data. Meanwhile, with its first-mover advantage in technology development and a strong IP portfolio, the company's GeneChip will likely as not be the technology used to answer that question. And in that sense, the GeneChip technology is enabling. Thus, at least for the time being, Affymetrix is well positioned to grow its life sciences markets. And through a recent major deal with Roche, it could become a major player in the nascent but arguably huge market for array-based clinical diagnostics.
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