Genetics Institute Inc. and Affymetrix Inc. on Tuesday expandedtheir collaboration in the area of GeneChip technology for themonitoring the expression of genes. That information will be used inGI's drug discovery efforts.

Affymetrix, of Santa Clara, Calif., will design a series of customchips that can quantitatively monitor the expression of up to 1,000genes simultaneously. Over the two-year agreement Genetics Institute(GI) will be able to monitor more than 15,000 genes in normal tissuesand in cells representing disease states, the companies said.

Adelene Perkins, director of corporate development for Cambridge,Mass.-based GI, said "the focus, from our perspective, is on geneexpression measurement. The Affymetrix technology is valuable asone of many efforts GI has to better bring biology to bear in thediscovery of protein therapeutics."

GI will use the technology to complement its high-throughputsequencing and analysis. "The biggest difference is it allows us to usebiology more powerfully," Perkins said.

Specific financial terms were not disclosed. But the deal calls for GIto purchase chip projects and chips and pay milestones on productdevelopment and royalties on any sales.

Affymetrix's GeneChip system can build large arrays of single-stranded DNA probes on chips. When a sample of DNA is applied tothe chips, the sequence is determined through the binding pattern onthe sample to the probes on the chip. Each chip is designed to analyzea specific gene or set of genes.

Genetics Institute's stock (NASDAQ:GENIZ) gained $3.25 Tuesdayto close at $63.75. Affymetrix, whose largest shareholder is London-based Glaxo Wellcome plc, is privately held. _ Jim Shrine

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.