DNA Analysis - Past, Present, and Future: Applied Biosystems Marks Next Phase of Genetic Discovery

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When the molecular structure of DNA was discovered more than 50 years ago, few could have imagined the ultimate impact of this discovery on life sciences. With the completion of the international Human Genome Project and other large-scale DNA sequencing efforts, scientists today have a wealth of information available for important applications that are already directly impacting human health, safety, and the environment.

The promise of next-generation DNA sequencing technology is to broaden the applications of genomic information in medical research and health care, reduce the cost of sequencing without sacrificing quality, and enable discoveries that are expected to revolutionize the practice of medicine.

    DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid - is the fundamental biological molecule that provides the code of instructions for the development, growth, and health of every living organism on earth. DNA sequencing refers to the application of sophisticated technology to 'read' the precise order of nucleotides that form these instruction sets. This process enables scientists to ultimately determine the differences within the same or between other organisms, and to determine when changes or variations in this code affect health or disease, or play an important role in the evolution of life forms.

More than just a laboratory research method, the same underlying technology that enabled the Human Genome Project is now used for many life-science applications, including forensics, biosecurity, environmental and food testing, microbial research, and pharmaceutical research and development. For example:

-- DNA analysis is routinely used in forensic investigations to link criminals to crime scenes, determine paternity, and identify victims of mass disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

-- In the field of biosecurity, genetic analysis enables public health agencies to quickly identify infectious diseases for rapid response and monitoring of threats such as avian influenza. DNA analysis is also routinely used by the U.S. Postal Service to screen packages for the presence of anthrax or other forms of bioterrorism.

-- For environment and food testing, DNA analysis enables the precise detection of harmful pathogens such as e. coli that provide a threat to the food supply and human health, and is used to identify the presence of genetically modified organisms.

-- Information gleaned from the characterization of complete microbial genomes is now being applied to develop alternative sources of energy and understand biological carbon cycling as it relates to global climate change.

-- In the emerging era of personalized medicine, DNA analysis is already helping researchers and physicians to better understand disease predisposition, subtypes, and response to treatment. Several targeted medicines are already available, which are designed to work for patients exhibiting a specific DNA profile.

"Science is entering a new era, in which recent technological developments have created 'power tools' that will enable even more rapid progress in delivering on the promise of genomics to help protect and preserve human health and safety, as well as our environment," said Mark Stevenson, executive vice-president for Applied Biosystems. "The promise of next-generation DNA sequencing technology is to broaden the applications of genomic information in medical research and health care, reduce the cost of sequencing without sacrificing quality, and enable discoveries that are expected to revolutionize the practice of medicine."

With dozens of disease-related genes already identified, these new tools should enable further advances in linking genes and genetic variations with disease and response to treatment, and ultimately in the development of new therapies targeted to the underlying genetic basis of common complex diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and diabetes.

Perhaps best known for its role in developing the technology that enabled the historic sequencing of the human genome, Applied Biosystems (NYSE:ABI), an Applera Corporation business, is continuing a more than 25 year-track record of innovation in the life sciences with the highly anticipated commercial launch of its next-generation DNA sequencing platform (announced separately today). Applied Biosystems set the standard for quality genetic analysis by providing the most robust line of capillary electrophoresis systems available in the market. With the launch of the SOLiD(TM) System, the company has established new standards for next-generation genetic analysis platforms in terms of throughput, accuracy, application flexibility and scalability.

By developing next-generation systems, while continuing to develop the applications for capillary electrophoresis technology, Applied Biosystems is continuing its leadership in DNA sequencing by commercializing products that provide total solutions for researchers from discovery through validation and screening. The capillary electrophoresis and SOLiD systems are complementary platforms for genomic analysis and together they support the broadest set of genetic analysis applications available.

Applied Biosystems has been a pioneer and leader in developing life-science technologies that enable breakthrough discoveries since the launch of its first product, the 470A protein sequencer, in 1982. The company began its industry leadership in DNA sequencing with the launch of the first automated DNA sequencer in 1986. This marked the beginning of an ongoing commitment to evolve its DNA sequencing chemistries and systems to meet the increasing demands of the scientific community for higher-throughput, more sophisticated DNA sequencing solutions. Today, more than 14,000 of Applied Biosystems' genetic analyzers are actively in use and have contributed to the sequencing of more than 450 completed genomes and approximately 700 others in progress.

In addition to providing industry-leading products for DNA and protein analysis, Applied Biosystems' vast distribution and service network of highly trained support and applications personnel reaches 150 countries on six continents with more than 2,000 people worldwide specializing in business consulting and protocol development, instrument optimization, and data and application integration.

Applied Biosystems is a global leader in the development and commercialization of instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services for the life-science market. Since its founding in 1981, the technological innovations brought to market by Applied Biosystems have become industry standard systems fueling life-science research and discovery in academia, pharmaceutical and clinical research, environmental monitoring, forensics, biosecurity and food testing. Today, more than 200,000 Applied Biosystems instruments are in operation at nearly 40,000 customer sites in more than 100 countries, where they provide a robust platform for examining the most important biological questions affecting health care and beyond.

For more information please visit http://www.appliedbiosystems.com.

About Applera Corporation and Applied Biosystems

Applera Corporation consists of two operating groups. The Applied Biosystems Group serves the life science industry and research community by developing and marketing instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services. Its customers use these tools to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), small molecules, and proteins to make scientific discoveries and develop new pharmaceuticals. The Applied Biosystems' products also serve the needs of some markets outside of life science research, which we refer to as "applied markets." These include 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 primarily a molecular diagnostics business that is using proprietary genomics and proteomics discovery platforms to identify and validate novel diagnostic markers, and is developing diagnostic products based on these markers as well as other known markers. Celera maintains a strategic alliance with Abbott for the development and commercialization of molecular, or nucleic acid-based, diagnostic products, and it is also developing new diagnostic products outside of this alliance. Through its genomics and proteomics research efforts, Celera is also discovering and validating therapeutic targets, and it is seeking strategic partnerships to develop therapeutic products based on these discovered targets. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available at http://www.applera.com, or by telephoning 800.762.6923. Information about Applied Biosystems is available at http://www.appliedbiosystems.com.

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.

(C) Copyright 2007. Applera Corporation. All Rights Reserved. AB (Design), Applied Biosystems, Applera and Celera are registered trademarks, and SOLiD is a trademark of Applera Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or certain other countries.

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