Belfast Telegraph

Pharmaceuticals giant appoints firm to sell breakthrough product

By David Elliot

Craigavon-based Almac has signed a multi-million dollar contract to allow a US company to sell the pharmaceutical firm's intellectual property worldwide.

The deal will allow Affymetrix, which is headquartered in California, to market Almac's biomarker discovery platform Xcel, a tool for analysing genetic behaviour from historic patient samples.

The array has a range of applications and could help discover how specific patients will respond to drugs, how their disease is likely to develop or the likelihood of its recurrence.

It's expected to advance research into personalised medicine as researchers will already be aware of the outcome of certain types of treatment on individuals.

It will also cut the time needed to perform research on new diagnostic tests across all diseases.

Affymetrix's technology is already used by the world's top pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology companies, as well as leading academic, government and non-profit research institutes.

"We are very pleased to have entered into this agreement with Affymetrix as their reputation and extensive global distribution network represents a significant opportunity for Almac to make the Xcel array available to the global research market," Michael Sloan, Vice President of Business Development at Almac said.

"Xcel has already proven to be an extremely valuable technology for biomarker discovery both for our in-house R-amp;D and for our clients. This distribution deal will enable many researchers around the world to access this platform."