New Tools for Studying Gene Expression

FOSTER CITY, Calif.–Applied Biosystems (NYSE:ABI), an Applera Corporation business, today announced the worldwide availability of new gene expression analysis tools that are expected to give life science researchers added flexibility and greater efficiency in performing experiments that identify and quantify key genes in biological samples. The TaqMan® Express Plates are 96-well reaction plates containing dried-down assays selected from more than 50,000 of Applied Biosystems TaqMan® Gene Expression Assays, in customized sets. These new tools have been developed to make the application of real-time PCR TaqMan assays more accessible to larger numbers of researchers. Using these plates, researchers in academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and other commercial enterprises will be able to custom design 96-wells with pre-plated TaqMan assays, allowing them to cost-effectively screen samples for the presence and amount of specified gene targets expressed in human, mouse, rat, Canine and Rhesus species.

Real-time PCR performed with TaqMan Gene Expression Assays is a widely used laboratory method for simultaneously detecting and quantifying nucleic acids present in samples. Frequently referenced in published research, this method has already helped thousands of life science researchers to more precisely assess how changes in the amount of RNA contribute to the development of disease or relate to biological processes in cells. Applications of TaqMan Gene Expression Assays include microarray validation, RNA interference (RNAi), candidate gene studies, and biological pathway studies.

Applied Biosystems developed the new TaqMan Express Plates so that researchers can choose gene targets of interest from the company’s broad collection of TaqMan Gene Expression Assays, and then designate the well-location for those assays to be dried-down on reaction plates. Scientists will be able to perform cost-effective gene expression analyses using the optimum assay layout and plate number to achieve a specific experimental goal.

For example, Dr. Jack W. Lipton, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Director at the University of Cincinnati’s Division of Neuropharmacology has been applying real-time PCR gene expression analyses for research projects that include investigating the molecular basis of long-term central nervous system changes produced by drugs of abuse. As part of Applied Biosystems’ early access program, Dr. Lipton has tested the effectiveness of the TaqMan Express Plates for gene expression studies related to his research projects.

“The TaqMan Express plates demonstrate excellent reproducibility, are easy to use, and provide us with the ability to run sets of TaqMan Gene Expression Assays with a minimal amount of time needed to set up our experiments,” said Dr. Lipton. “As competitive technologies for the same experiments did not meet our standards for data quality, resulting in half of the data being useless, we are planning on using the TaqMan Express Plates in our lab on a regular basis.”

The assays used for the TaqMan Express Plates offer researchers the accuracy, sensitivity, and reproducibility of gold-standard TaqMan chemistry. This chemistry underlies the assays in Applied Biosystems line of gene expression analysis products, which won the best-in-class distinction at the fourth annual Life Science Industry Awards™ event this month. Extensive tests by Applied Biosystems scientists have found the same high level of performance between TaqMan Gene Expression Assays supplied in the traditional liquid format and assays dried into a TaqMan Express Plate. For studies using cultured cells, TaqMan Express Plates are also compatible for use with the TaqMan® Gene Expression Cells-to-CT™ Kit.

To use the TaqMan Express Plates, researchers first access an intuitive web site to select one of three plate formats (32, 48, and 96 genes per plate). They then choose targets from a catalogue of TaqMan Gene Expression Assays and controls. Researchers customize a virtual plate layout by placing assays in specific wells of the plate. Once plates are designed, researchers order them, then Applied Biosystems manufactures the plates with assays in a convenient dried-down format and ships them. Researchers generally receive their customized plates of assays in less than two weeks. They can store plates at room temperature until they use them.

Use of TaqMan Express Plates reduces pipetting errors and promotes standardization of processes for performing gene expression applications in different laboratory environments. As few as six plates can be ordered at a time. Each pack of Express Plates is shipped with a CD containing the plate configuration map along with the details of each TaqMan assay. When researchers are ready to run their assays, they simply add TaqMan® Gene Expression Master Mix and cDNA sample to each of the wells on a plate, seal the plate and place it in a real-time PCR instrument with standard 96-well capability.

“The TaqMan Express Plates will bring added application flexibility to our extensive line of real-time PCR solutions and simplify workflows for gene expression studies,” said Peter Dansky, president of Applied Biosystems’ functional analysis division. “By enabling researchers to configure TaqMan assays in a format that best accommodates their individual research projects, we are providing a cost-effective solution for gene expression analysis to all of our customers, while simplifying the way we deliver our TaqMan technology so that it is more accessible to scientists in many fields.”

Applied Biosystems also offers TaqMan® Custom Plating Service for researchers interested in obtaining plate formats and assay types that are currently not offered through the TaqMan Express Plates product. Using this service, researchers can obtain 96-well, 384-well or Fast 96-well plates designed with Custom TaqMan® Gene Expression Assays, and Custom TaqMan® Probes and Primers. The service provides additional flexibility by allowing researchers to choose a variety of reaction volumes and liquid formulation of the assays.

Applied Biosystems is a global leader in the development and commercialization of instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services for the life-science market. The company offers one of the life-science industry’s most comprehensive lines of RNA expression analysis tools that include individual TaqMan assays and arrays of assays for miRNA analysis along with a complete line of TaqMan® Array gene signature panels and more than 800,000 individual TaqMan Gene Expression Assays. These RNA expression analysis assay products are available on the Applied Biosystems website, and can be used with the appropriate real-time PCR instrument systems that include the Applied Biosystems 7900HT Fast Real-Time PCR System, 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR System, 7300 Real-Time PCR System, StepOne™ Real-Time PCR System, and StepOnePlus™ Real-Time PCR System. More information about Applied Biosystems’ complete line of RNA expression analysis solutions is available at:

About Applera Corporation and Applied Biosystems

Applera Corporation consists of two operating groups. Applied Biosystems serves the life science industry and research community by developing and marketing instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services. Customers use these tools to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), small molecules, and proteins to make scientific discoveries and develop new pharmaceuticals. Applied Biosystems’ products also serve the needs of some markets outside of life science research, which we refer to as “applied markets,” such as the fields of: human identity testing (forensic and paternity testing); biosecurity, which refers to products needed in response to the threat of biological terrorism and other malicious, accidental, and natural biological dangers; and quality and safety testing, such as testing required for food and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of approximately $2.1 billion during fiscal 2007. The Celera Group is a diagnostics business delivering personalized disease management through a combination of products and services incorporating proprietary discoveries. Berkeley HeartLab, a subsidiary of Celera, offers services to predict cardiovascular disease risk and optimize patient management. Celera also commercializes a wide range of molecular diagnostic products through its strategic alliance with Abbott and has licensed other relevant diagnostic technologies developed to provide personalized disease management in cancer and liver diseases. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available at, or by telephoning 800.762.6923. Information about Applied Biosystems is available at All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Applera does not undertake any duty to update this information unless required by law.

Applied Biosystems Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as “should, “planned,” and “expect,” 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 the development and customer acceptance of new products; (2) sales dependent on customers’ capital spending policies and government-sponsored research; and (3) other factors that might be described from time to time in Applera Corporation’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Applera does not undertake any duty to update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless required by law.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures. Practice of the patented 5’ Nuclease Process requires a license from Applied Biosystems. The purchase of the TaqMan Array Human MicroArray Panel includes an immunity from suit under patents specified in the product insert to use only the amount purchased for the purchaser’s own internal research when used with the separate purchase of an Authorized 5’ Nuclease Core Kit. No other patent rights are conveyed expressly, by implication, or by estoppel. For further information on purchasing licenses contact the Director of Licensing, Applied Biosystems, 850 Lincoln Centre Drive, Foster City, California 94404, USA.

The TaqMan® Low Density Array is covered by U.S. Patents Nos. 6,514,750 and 6,942,837. Micro Fluidic Card developed in collaboration with 3M Company.

Applera, Applied Biosystems, and AB (Design) are registered trademarks, and Cells-to-CT, StepOne, and StepOnePlus are trademarks of Applera Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or certain other countries. TaqMan is a registered trademark of Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.

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