While DNA microarray technologies are useful for analyzing the expression of a large number of genes in a small number of samples, once target genes are identified it becomes perhaps more useful to analyze a relatively small number of genes in a large number of samples. Xanthon Inc. hopes to participate in this downstream drug discovery market with its Xpression Analysis System, which enables the direct electrochemical detection of nucleic acids without amplification or complex sample preparation.

"Wherever one would want to analyze for DNA or RNA, the Xanthon technology would be appropriate," said President and CEO James Skinner. While the company is developing its technology initially for gene expression applications in drug discovery, it also plans to develop products for SNP detection, clinical diagnostics and agriculture.