FOSTER CITY, CA - April 23, 2002 - Applied Biosystems Group (NYSE:ABI), an Applera Corporation business, today announced the introduction of the Applied Biosystems 3730 DNA Analyzer and the Applied Biosystems 3730xl DNA Analyzer. These next generation production scale systems are expected to improve data quality and increase productivity by a factor of two or more compared to current technology platforms. They bring powerful new tools for rapid, accurate, and cost effective DNA analysis to discovery researchers worldwide studying human and other genomes.
"Research into whole genomes has rapidly accelerated in the last two years, resulting in numerous emerging programs in genetic resequencing and development of haplotype maps for tracing the origins and patterns of disease," said Michael W. Hunkapiller, Ph.D., President of Applied Biosystems. "The 3730 and 3730xl systems are expected to be valuable new tools for researchers to cost-effectively mine new genetic data resulting from sequencing of the human, mouse and other important genomes. These production level systems could further accelerate discovery and significantly expand the sequencing market by making a broader range of sequencing studies affordable - studies previously deemed too expensive."
Sequencing production capacity, automation, and efficiency are critical to expansion of research and production in the world's leading genome research centers. "Reducing the cost of sequencing is the key to the ability to expand both public and private sequencing programs, and to study the large number of genomes believed to have significant potential in advancing the understanding of disease and evolution," said John S. West, Vice President of DNA Platforms for Applied Biosystems. "With the potential cost reductions and production capacity of the 3730 platform, researchers can begin to think about sequencing the additional genomes needed to truly harness the power of comparative genomics for understanding evolutionary development and disease."
Early Access Program To Start
The phased introduction of the 3730 and 3730xl DNA analyzers includes an early access program period expected to start in June, with broader commercial release to follow in the summer. The addition of the 3730 and 3730xl DNA analyzers to the Applied Biosystems existing portfolio of industry-leading genetic analyzers provides researchers with a wider range of platforms to address their throughput and application needs. The 3730 analyzer, a 48-capillary electrophoresis system, combines the core technology of the highly successful ABI PRISM® 3100 Genetic Analyzer with new advances in automation and optics, to meet the needs of higher throughput individual researchers and core facilities. The 3730 platform can also be upgraded to the 3730xl analyzer, the 96-capillary successor to the ABI PRISM® 3700 DNA Analyzer. These new systems were co-developed under a product development collaboration begun in 1997 between Applied Biosystems and Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, an affiliate of Hitachi, Ltd.
While researchers and production facilities are expected to primarily use the 3730xl DNA analyzer for production sequencing - both de novo and resequencing - the 3730 DNA analyzer is expected to be used for a wider range of sequencing and fragment analysis applications including de novo and comparative sequencing and genotyping. The new systems run both ABI PRISM® BigDye® Terminator chemistries for sequencing and five-dye chemistries for fragment analysis, as do all Applied Biosystems genetic analyzers.
Throughput, Automation, Efficiency Improvements
The 3730 and 3730xl DNA analyzers can reduce sequencing project costs and increase efficiency by providing longer read lengths, enhanced instrument sensitivity and efficiency and the highest 24-hour unattended capacity of any DNA analyzer. Sequence read lengths of greater than 1,000 base pairs and improved basecalling could reduce the number of samples needed to complete de novo genome sequencing and resequencing projects by 20-40 percent respectively. Increased system efficiency and sensitivity can minimize sample volumes and optimize dye concentrations, thus lowering the cost per sample. With production capacity up to two to three times that of the ABI PRISM® 3700 DNA Analyzer and enhanced automation and sample tracking, researchers could complete projects in one third to one half the time now required. The 3730 and 3730xl systems are also expected to offer improved sample-to-sample reproducibility, higher reliability, and minimal downtime during instrument set-up and maintenance. By addressing the key elements that affect costs and data quality, the 3730 and 3730xl DNA Analyzers have the potential to make large-scale sequencing projects faster and more affordable.
Applied Biosystems: Pioneer in Genetic Analysis Systems
Both new systems are part of the Applied Biosystems pioneering line of capillary electrophoresis instruments for DNA analysis. The ABI PRISM® 310 Genetic Analyzer, the first commercial capillary sequencer, was introduced in 1995. That was followed in 1998 by the introduction of the 96-capillary ABI PRISM® 3700 DNA Analyzer system. Government and commercial researchers in the United States, Europe and Asia used the 3700 DNA analyzer to sequence the human genome. Researchers worldwide currently use the 3700 DNA analyzer for the industrial-scale analysis of genomic information. The 16-capillary ABI PRISM® 3100 Genetic Analyzer, introduced in 2000, is designed to provide the flexibility of the 310 genetic analyzer with added throughput for medium-to-high throughput laboratories. The ABI PRISM® 3100-Avant Genetic Analyzer, introduced in April 2002, is a four-capillary electrophoresis system that can be upgraded to the 16-capillary 3100 genetic analyzer.
Additional information about the Applied Biosystems 3730 and 3730xl DNA Analyzers can be found by visiting the electronic "Press Kit" web page within the "About Us" section of the Applied Biosystems web site. Video footage and a photograph of the Applied Biosystems 3730xl DNA Analyzer can be downloaded by visiting http://www.newstream.com.
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 genomic and proteomic technology platforms to identify drug targets and diagnostic marker candidates, and to discover novel therapeutic candidates. Its Celera Discovery System online platform 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 http://www.applera.com, or by telephoning 800-762-6923. Information about Applied Biosystems is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.appliedbiosystems.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "expect," "potential," "could," and "believe" 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) sales dependent on customers' capital spending policies and government-sponsored research; (3) claims for patent infringement; (4) and other factors that might be described from time to time in Applera Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Copyright© 2002. Applera Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Applied Biosystems, ABI PRISM and BigDye are registered trademarks and Applera, Celera, Celera Diagnostics and Celera Genomics are trademarks of Applera Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and certain other countries.
Applied Biosystems Europe
David Speechly, Ph.D.