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Agilent Technologies to Introduce Genomics Technology into India's Growing Life Sciences Market; Company Expanding Presence into Medical Research, Drug Discovery, Agro-Biotech


Agilent Technologies Inc.today announced plans to introduce its DNA microarray-based genomics solutions into India's growing life sciences market. Agilent currently sells technologies for the chemical, environmental and pharmaceutical manufacturing markets in India, and is a biotech leader there. The company expects to expand its presence into industries such as medical research, drug discovery and agro-biotech.

"Agilent's Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis business had double-digit growth in India last year, driven by the country's booming biotechnology, agriculture, information technology and pharmaceuticals industries," said Sanjeev Dhar, country manager for the LSCA business in India. "India is now LSCA's fourth-largest country of business in Asia, and one of the fastest-growing. We expect this growth to continue as we launch our industry-leading solutions for the life sciences sector into areas such as genomics and proteomics research."

The Indian microarray market is estimated to grow by approximately 70 percent in 2005, according to genomics and bioinformatics company Genotypic.

Agilent's life science technologies address demand from government-funded research institutions and pharmaceutical companies -- a demand expected to be fueled by the Indian government's Draft National Biotechnology Policy. The strategy focuses on using biotechnology as a tool to improve quality of life and aims to position India as a worldwide hub for biotechnology research. A government-supported infrastructure is expected to stimulate research in areas such as genomics, stem cells, molecular medicine, metabolic engineering and cell biology.

"Growth in sectors like biopharmaceuticals, contract research bioservices, agriculture, genetic engineering and molecular medicine will drive growth for analytical instrumentation," Dhar said.

Agilent's initial plans focus on introducing its DNA microarray-based genomics solutions, which improve the productivity of gene-expression and genomics research. Also known as DNA chips or biochips, microarrays are small pieces of glass dotted with thousands of strands of DNA, each of which corresponds to a specific gene in the genome. In a single experiment, microarrays can measure genome-wide differences between diseased and healthy cells.

Key applications of Agilent's microarray-based solutions include:

-- Gene expression -- scanning for differences in gene expression or gene activity between healthy and diseased cells.

-- Toxicogenomics -- identifying the changes in gene activity that occur in response to exposure to a toxin or drug.

-- Comparative genomic hybridization -- studying the chromosomal changes that frequently occur in cancer cells, including the loss or duplication of regions of chromosomal DNA.

-- Agro-biotech -- identifying genes in plants that correspond to survival traits that could improve crop development.

Agilent will participate April 22-24 in Bangalore Bio, India's largest biotechnology event, at which more than 25 countries will be represented. There, the company will present more information about the products that further these important fields of research.

About Agilent Integrated Biology Solutions

Agilent Technologies is a leading supplier of life science research systems that enable scientists to understand complex biological processes, determine disease mechanisms and speed drug discovery. Engineered for sensitivity, reproducibility and workflow productivity, Agilent's integrated biology solutions include instrumentation, microfluidics, software, microarrays, consumables and services for genomics, proteomics and metabolomics applications.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $7.2 billion in fiscal year 2004. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at www.agilent.com .

 
Posted by: limsfinder on Apr 21,05| Profile| Biotechnology

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