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Affymetrix, Inc.
HeadquartersSanta Clara, California, U.S.
Number of locations
Key people
Stephen Fodor, Frank Witney (CEO)
RevenueIncrease US$327 Million (FY 2009)[1]
Decrease US$-30.6 Million (FY 2009)[1]
Decrease US$-23.9 Million (FY 2009)[1]
Total assetsDecrease US$612 Million (FY 2009)[2]
Total equityDecrease US$288 Million (FY 2009)[2]
Number of employees
ParentThermo Fisher Scientific

Affymetrix is a brand of DNA microarray products sold by Thermo Fisher Scientific that originated with an American biotechnology research and development and manufacturing company of the same name. The Santa Clara, California-based Affymetrix, Inc. was founded by Stephen Fodor and his group, based on their earlier development of methods to fabricate DNA microarrays using semiconductor manufacturing techniques.[not verified in body]

In 1994, the company's first product under the "GeneChip" Affymetrix trademark, an HIV genotyping chip was introduced,[not verified in body] and the company went public in 1996.[not verified in body]

After incorporation, Affymetrix grew in part by acquiring technologies from other companies, including Genetic MicroSystems (slide-based microarrays and scanners) and Neomorphic (for bioinformatics) in 2000, ParAllele Bioscience (custom SNP genotyping),[when?] USB/Anatrace (biochemical reagents) in 2008, Panomics (low to mid-plex applications) in 2008, and eBioscience (flow cytometry) in 2012.[verification needed] Affymetrix spun off Perlegen Sciences,[when?] as a discrete business focussing on wafer-scale genomics to characterize population-variance of genomic markers.[not verified in body]

In January 2014, the Food and Drug Administration approved Affymetrix's postnatal blood test, CytoScan Dx Assay, looking at whole-genome correlates of congenital abnormalities and other causes of childhood developmental delay.[verification needed]

On January 8, 2016, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced its acquisition of Affymetrix for approximately $1.3 billion,[4] which closed on March 31, 2016.[5]


Affymetrix, Inc. was founded by Stephen Fodor in 1992, and was based in Santa Clara, California, United States.[citation needed] It began as a unit in Affymax N.V. in 1991 under Fodor and his group.[citation needed] In the late 1980s, that group had developed methods for fabricating DNA microarrays, under the "GeneChip" Affymetrix trademark, using semiconductor manufacturing techniques.[citation needed] The company's first product, an HIV genotyping GeneChip, was introduced in 1994 and the company went public in 1996.[citation needed]

Description of products

Example of two Affymetrix chips

Affymetrix, Inc. made quartz chips for analysis of DNA Microarrays called GeneChip arrays, and sold mass-produced GeneChip arrays intended to match scientifically important parts of human and other animal genomes. Manufactured using photolithography, Affymetrix's GeneChip arrays assisted researchers in quickly scanning for the presence of particular genes in a biological sample. In this area, Affymetrix was focused on oligonucleotide microarrays, which could be used to address the presence of genes through detection of specific corresponding segments of mRNA. The single-use chips could be used to analyze thousands of genes in a single assay. The company also manufactured machinery for high speed analysis of biological samples, and its GeneChip Operating Software as a system for managing Affymetrix microarray data.

Affymetix's competitors in the DNA Microarray business include Illumina, GE Healthcare, Applied Biosystems, Beckman Coulter, Eppendorf Biochip Systems, and Agilent.


Prior to its acquisition by Thermo Fisher, and its becoming a line of its products, Affymetrix, Inc. had acquired the technologies of a number of companies. It acquired Genetic MicroSystems for slide-based microarrays and scanners and Neomorphic for bioinformatics, both in 2000,[6][7] ParAllele Bioscience for custom SNP genotyping,[when?][citation needed] USB/Anatrace for biochemical reagents in 2008,[verification needed][8] eBioscience for flow cytometry in 2012,[verification needed][9] and Panomics in 2008[verification needed][10] and True Materials[when?] to expand its offering of low to mid-plex applications.[11][12] In 2000, Perlegen Sciences spun out from Affymetrix to focus on wafer-scale genomics for massive data creation and collection required for characterizing population variance of genomic markers and expression for the drug discovery process.[citation needed]

FDA test approval

In January 2014, the Food and Drug Administration cleared a first-of-a-kind whole-genome postnatal blood test that can aid physicians in identifying the underlying genetic cause of developmental delay, intellectual disability, congenital anomalies, or dysmorphic features in children, where it was noted that "[a]bout 2 to 3 percent of U.S. children have some sort of intellectual disability, according to the National Institutes of Health."[13] The test, known as CytoScan Dx Assay, was designed to diagnose these disabilities earlier to expedite appropriate care and support.


  1. ^ a b c Affymetrix (AFFX) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest
  2. ^ a b Affymetrix (AFFX) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest
  3. ^ "Company Profile for Affymetrix Inc (AFFX)". Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  4. ^ Armental, Maria (8 January 2016). "Thermo Fisher Scientific to Buy Affymetrix in $1.3 Billion Cash Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Thermo Fisher Scientific Completes Acquisition of Affymetrix Following Approval of Transaction by Affymetrix Stockholders".
  6. ^ "Affymetrix Acquires Genetic MicroSystems". Bioresearch Online. 1999-09-14. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  7. ^ "Affymetrix Announces Definitive Merger Agreement With Neomorphic, Inc". Affymetrix. October 2000. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  8. ^ "Affymetrix Acquisition of USB — Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Affymetrix. 2008-01-31. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  9. ^ "Affymetrix and eBioscience Amend Definitive Merger Agreement". Affymetrix. May 2012. Archived from the original on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2015-01-24.
  10. ^ "Affymetrix to acquire Panomics" (PDF). Affymetrix. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  11. ^ "Affymetrix and Singapore-based Start-up PathGEN Dx Sign Partnership for Diagnostic Test Development for Pathogen Detection". Reuters. 2012-08-24. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2013-05-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Matthew Perrone (January 17, 2014). "FDA OKs Mental Disability Blood Test for Infants" – via Washington Times.

External links

  • "Affymetrix—Corporate History". Affymetrix. Archived from the original on 2006-11-07. Retrieved 2006-11-20. Detailed, multi-document resource on the originating company's history, from its perspective, featuring a detailed timeline of acquisitions, photographs of early technology, etc.