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An array of advantages
August 2009
by Jeff Bouley  |  Email the author
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BILLERICA, Mass.—The 2470 Arrayer technology from Aushon BioSystems Inc.—a provider of advanced microarray instrumentation and laboratory services for biomarker discovery, development and analysis—will now play a key role at the Cambridge, Mass.-based Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the institute's small-molecule microarray research.

It's a win for Aushon that's been a couple years in the making.

"We contacted the Broad initially to understand their potential microarray instrumentation needs approximately two years ago, and maintained an ongoing relationship with them," recalls Peter Honkanen, CEO of Aushon. "As a result of our ongoing contact, they were already aware of our 2470 microarray printing platform and its many advantages, and set out to explore how our multiplexing technology could contribute to their small-molecule research."

The 2470 Arrayer has been installed in leading research institutions throughout North America, Europe and Asia to provide rapid, accurate, high-density microarray printing for both genomic and proteomic applications, notes Aushon. According to the company, the 2470 Arrayer is able to print virtually any sample—including cell lysates and blood—onto substrates with unique shapes and chemistries, as well as the most delicate of substrates such as nitrocellulose and silicon chips which, along with other features, making it "the most flexible and reliable microarray printing platform available," according to the company's news release about the Broad's selection of the 2470 Arrayer.

It wasn't just the existing flexibility of the technology that won the Broad Institute over, Honkanen notes, but his own company's willingness to work with the institute and adapt the 2470 Arrayer beyond its base capabilities to accommodate the Broad's unique small molecule applications.

"Aushon offers a balance of advanced, proven technology with a core corporate philosophy of building long-term, mutually rewarding relationships with our customers and partners. That was evident in our willingness to work with the Broad Institute from the beginning, giving them access to our instruments and scientists to help them understand the technology and its solutions, and how they could be adapted to meet their needs," Honkanen says. "Certainly, our close physical proximity to the Broad helped facilitate this high level of support, but that commitment to service is fundamental to our success and provided to every customer."

"The ability and willingness of Aushon to customize the capabilities of the 2470 Arrayer for our specific small-molecule microarray application was critical," echoes Dr. Angela Koehler, Institute Fellow of Chemical Biology at the Broad Institute, who believes the technology will significantly enhance the success of the Broad's research efforts. "Through our collaboration with Aushon, we were able to exploit the advanced capabilities of the 2470 microarray printing platform while adapting it to meet the stringent criteria of our own applications."

The benefits have been mutual, Honkanen indicates, as the customization work and interactions with the Broad Institute have provided "vital insights into new applications for our printing platform, and enhanced the reach and scope of our microarray technology." 

The Broad Institute was founded in 2003 to "transform medicine with new genome-based knowledge," and it seeks to describe all the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods and data openly to the entire scientific community. The Broad not only taps the talents within MIT, Harvard and their affiliated hospitals but also has collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than 40 countries.

Aushon BioSystems provides a comprehensive suite of microarray instruments, consumables and services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic and diagnostic clients worldwide. The company's signature combination of advanced microarray printing technology, robust biomarker content and innovative multiplex immunoassay development and detection systems is said to delivers exceptional performance, quality and reliability that accelerates pre-clinical and clinical biomarker research. DDN
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