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Suite deal: Stratagene, Strand to co-develop a suite of bioninformatics software tools
January 2006
by Chris Anderson  |  Email the author


LA JOLLA, Calif.— January 18, 2006—Seeing almost immediate fruits from its co-development deal with Strand Life Sciences, Stratagene Corp. announced the launch of PathwayArchitect Software, used to analyze data resulting from systems biology-focused pathway research. The system, powered by avidis technology, offers a biology-focused workflow and a database of more than one million biological interactions.
LA JOLLA, Calif.—Stratagene Corp., a developer and manufacturer of life science research and diagnostic products, and informatics company Strand Life Sciences announced in early December a strategic partnership whereby the companies will co-develop a comprehensive suite of bioinformatics software tools. Under the terms of the agreement, Stratagene will exclusively market and sell the products developed, which will use Strand's avidis technology. First products of the relationship were anticipated to launch this month, according to Stratagene officials, with the initial products addressing systems biology-focused pathway analysis and analysis of the higher density, next generation of Affymetrix GeneChip arrays.
"We've looked at partnering with many different organizations and concluded that Strand was the best fit for a number of reasons," says David Weber senior vice president of marketing for Stratagene. "Number one, they've been developing software in the life science space for a while now and their avadis platform, upon which some of our new products are built, is well-recognized and accepted in the marketplace. Second, to be fair about it, they are based in Bangalore, India, and offer an extremely talented group of people at a much lower cost than it would take to accomplish the same goal here in the U.S."
According to Jason Gonsalves, GM Stratagene software business, the combination of the two companies was like fitting two puzzle pieces together. "In terms of the partnership, working with Strand is a unique opportunity because they have a high level of competence in the software development but they don't have the kind of domain or channel experience that Stratagene does."
The result, Gonsalves notes, is a "natural partnership" that highlights Strand's technical expertise merged with Stratagene's market knowledge and reach.
The first products from the relationship, are called PathwayArchitect, ArrayAssist Expression and ArrayAssist Exon. PathwayArchitect is a biological data mining package that aims to provide life science researchers with "statistically relevant relationships in their system, not just biological facts," according to company information.
The ArrayAssist Expression and Array Assist Exon are built upon Strand's avadis technology to analyze data from Affymetrix microarrays. An important cornerstone to the deal with Strand is based on Stratagene's exclusive software alliance with Affymetrix and a co-branded product called ArrayAssist Light.
 "This is the default method that Affymetrix provides to their customers to calculate the basic data from an Affymetrix expression chip and that is distributed to Affymetrix customers free-of-charge," says Gonsalves. This scaled back edition of Stratagene's more robust ArrayAssist product allows for the company to approach GeneChip users for a potential upsell to the full version.
 This relationship will continue with Affymetrix's new Exon array and will allow Stratagene to be first-to-market with a full-fledged product tailored specifically to the more robust data collection needed for the new arrays.
Strand officials could not be reached prior to press time, but in a prepared statement, Chairman and CEO of Strand Vijay Chandru states; ""We believe that this partnership for informatics solutions will enable Strand and Stratagene to take a strong position in the functional genomics informatics vertical as the leading provider of comprehensive solutions to the research biologist. With Stratagene's strategic software alliance with Affymetrix, we are poised to deliver software tools that will facilitate the biologist through the seamless and effortless transition to the next generation of GeneChip microarrays including exon, tiling and SNP arrays and move from array analysis to pathway analysis equally seamlessly."
Code: E010608



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