Germany's Infineon Technologies has launched a biochip, with a surface of just one square centimetre, that can simultaneously analyse the reaction of up to 400 known genes to a test substance.
Infineon developed the system, which is comprised of a Flow-Thru chip and measuring apparatus, with US company MetriGenix.
"Currently, pharmaceutical companies typically invest an average of 12-15 years into the development and test phase of a new drug," said Infineon. "Using new chip-based analysis methods, the pharmaceutical industry expect time savings of one to two years," the company added. For a blockbuster medication, this could translate to increased revenues of up to €500 million euros, predicts Infineon.
Flow-Thru chips are already available for the study of inflammation, various types of cancer and neurological diseases and can be customised through the application of specific genes. The system will be presented at the Bio-Analytica trade show, held 1-4 April in Munich, Germany, and is priced at around €60,000.