The Integrated Circuit for Bioinformatics: The DNA Chip and Materials Innovation at Affymetrix
Studies in Materials Innovation
2010, Chemical Heritage Foundation
Soft cover, 8.5 x 11
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The second generation of biotech firms, established in the 1990s, has expanded its business scope into chemical, materials, and research infrastructure for biomedical research and pharmaceutical development. A few start-up companies, such as Affymetrix, Celera, and Human Genome Sciences, exhibited this broader shift in their business toward materials and research after the first biotech boom of the 1980s subsided. This essay analyzes one such case in materials innovation in the biotech industry—Affymetrix’s DNA chip, which ignited the confluence of information technology and biotechnology. This case study illuminates the evolution of business strategies of the second generation of biotech firms, analyzes the reconfiguration of biotech firms’ strategic alliances with academic research communities and pharmaceutical companies in the 1990s, and examines the hybridization of discrete technological components in the development of bioinformatics.
About Studies in Materials Innovation
Part of the Robert W. Gore Materials Innovation Project, this white paper series aims to illuminate the diverse contributions of materials innovation within the broader process of technological development in the contemporary age.