SANTA CLARA, Calif. & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Affymetrix (NASDAQ:AFFX) and MTI Ltd. (TSE:9438), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, EverGene Ltd., (MTI/EG) announce that the two companies will collaborate in genetic research and personal genomics services in Japan. With the support of leading academics and through this collaboration, MTI/EG plans to further expand their business in the healthcare field.
MTI/EG, a personal genome services (PGS) provider in Japan, announced their new research service under the supervision of Dr. Naoyuki Kamatani, Director, Tsukuba International Clinical Pharmacology Clinic (TICP) and Director, StaGen Co. Ltd.. One of the research programs is a collaborative project with TICP in the “quality of life” area. More than 10,000 volunteers from the subscriber base of MTI’s LunaLuna, a women’s healthcare service mobile app in Japan, have applied to participate in this research program. The outcome of the research is expected to produce results that will enable MTI/EG to introduce, over time, new categories of PGS in several fields for quality of life improvement. “I am excited to work with MTI/EG in this important work,” stated Dr. Naoyuki Kamatani. “I believe that providing people with an easy way to understand their genetics as it relates to quality of life will lead to improved awareness of health and well-being, and ultimately happier and healthier lives.”
MTI/EG announced the launch of “DearGene Starter Kit”, which is an updated genotyping service for consumers. This service is a comprehensive genotyping analysis that provides diseases onset risk based on a risk calculation model developed by Dr. Kamatani. Affymetrix’ Axiom genotyping platform will be used for generating the individual’s genotyping data.
Affymetrix will support MTI/EG in their genetic research and PGS programs in Japan by supplying its Axiom Genotyping Solution for the highly accurate measurement of genetic variation. Samples from MTI/EG will be processed exclusively by Takara Bio Inc. of Japan, who has a excellent and long established reputation in the genomics field. Affymetrix has begun providing MTI/EG with custom Axiom genotyping arrays for the collaborative research program, and will supply custom Axiom arrays for MTI/EG’s personal genomics service, “DearGene Starter Kit”. “We feel very privileged to work closely with MTI/EG and look forward to our Axiom technology being utilized with the aim of providing improved quality of life for the Japanese people,” stated Frank Witney, President and CEO of Affymetrix.
MTI Ltd. has been providing various healthcare services addressing social and medical issues such as low birth rate, healthy life expectancy, and reducing healthcare costs. “We are very excited to work with Affymetrix,” stated Toshihiro Maeta, President and CEO of MTI Ltd. “We value their long history in the field of genetic analysis and their commitment to quality will help us provide our customers with the best possible information that can positively impact their lives. The strong relationship between Affymetrix and MTI/EG is expected to advance these important areas.”
“We are very pleased to announce the launch of our updated genotyping service, DearGene Starter Kit. With our close collaboration with Affymetrix and Takara Bio Inc., we look forward to providing our Japanese customers with high quality genotyping analysis services,” stated Masanori Akita, President and CEO of EG.
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MTI Ltd. (MTI) is a mobile content provider servicing all age groups. MTI was founded in August 1996 and started a weather forecast web service in the following year. Subsequently, MTI offered various services including a music download website and a women’s healthcare website. MTI has been expanding their services to electronic books, weather forecasting, traffic information, and a navigation map. Currently, MTI is focusing on their smart phone applications and websites. They have one of the largest numbers of paid-subscribers in Japan, and their service applications such as “music.jp” or “LunaLuna” are well-known in Japan. MTI has been listed with the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange since March 24, 2015.
EverGene Ltd.(EG), one of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of MTI Ltd., is a genotyping service provider in Japan. In April of 2014, EG launched a knowledge based genotyping service. EG, endorsed by academia in Japan, is a leader of PGS providers in this emerging market. To learn more about EverGene Ltd., please visit http://www.evergene.co.jp (in Japanese only)
StaGen Co. Ltd. was established based on the scientific work and vision of Naoyuki Kamatani, MD, PhD, who served as a professor of Tokyo Women’s Medical University and Director of Center for Genomic Medicine in RIKEN. StaGen is an expert in the fields of statistical genetics and statistics, and supports various kinds of research projects conducted by academia and private companies. In addition, StaGen is growing their healthcare business by leveraging information and communication technology and utilizing the results from genetic association studies for new drug development and drug repositioning. Dr. Kamatani’s studies have covered a wide range of topics including applied mathematics, statistics, statistical genetics, computer technology, epidemiology, rheumatology, gout, metabolic diseases, oncology, and drug development. He first published the idea of personalized treatment for cancer by targeting MTAP in 1981, and in the following year reported the first evidence of MTAP deficiency occurring among human leukemias in vivo. MTAP gene is associated with a known tumor suppressor gene and its deficiency indicates a change in that tumor suppressor gene. He also contributed to the early-phase development of cladribine (anti-leukemic drug) and febuxostat (anti-gout drug) by using data from human genetic studies. He published more than 600 peer-reviewed papers including 34 in Nature and Nature Genetics. For more information about StaGen, please visit www.stagen.co.jp.
About Takara Bio Inc.
Takara Bio Inc. is an innovative biotechnology company based in Shiga, Japan. As a world leader in biotechnology research and development, Takara Bio was the first company to market PCR technology in Japan and is also the developer of RetroNectin® reagent, which is used as a world standard in gene therapy protocols. In addition to providing research reagents and equipment to the life science research market, Takara Bio has active research and product development activities in the fields of gene- and cell-based therapy and agricultural biotechnology including functional food and mushroom production business; and is committed to preventing disease and improving the quality of life for everyone through the use of biotechnology. Through strategic alliances with other industry leaders, Takara Bio aims to extend its reach around the world. More information is available at www.takara-bio.com.
Affymetrix technologies enable multiplex and simultaneous analysis of biological systems at the cell, protein, and gene level, facilitating the rapid translation of bench-top research into clinical and routine use for human health and wellness. Affymetrix provides leadership and support, partnering with customers in pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and biotechnology companies, as well as leading academic, government, and non-profit research institutes in their quest to use biology for a better world. More than 2,300 microarray systems have been shipped around the world and more than 94,500 peer-reviewed papers have been published citing Affymetrix technologies. Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and has manufacturing facilities in Cleveland, Ohio, San Diego, Vienna, and Singapore. Affymetrix has about 1,100 employees worldwide and maintains sales and distribution operations across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. For more information about Affymetrix, please visit www.affymetrix.com.
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