Facing a crowded market with an uncertain intellectual property situation, Affymetrix Inc. continues to burrow deeper into its core array space, but now may be hedging its bets by taking a stake in downstream discovery and development.

By acquiring a bioinformatics company last week, AFFX plans to design better and more customized arrays, especially chips that will be used for pharmacogenomics. At the same time, the company is creating a spinoff to use genetic information to identify drug targets, and possibly develop therapeutics.