Affymetrix (NYSE: AFFX) is a biotechnology company that develops and markets research tools in the molecular biology field. Its main product line is the GeneChip microarray platform, an analysis tool in genomics research. Affymetrix pioneered the genomics research industry as the first company to develop the GeneChip microarray platform, which is now used widely in many research institutions as an essential part of genetic analysis.
The GeneChip microarray platform has three components: the analysis instrument, reagents, and the disposable one-time-use probe array. Affymetrix sells the reusable portions of this platform, including the reagents and the analysis instrument, at low margins but sells the one-time-use consumable probe arrays at a high margin. Almost all of Affymetrix's sales revenue originates from the sales of disposable probe arrays, since they must be replaced after every research experiment procedure. AFFX sells its products to some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology companies, as well as leading academic, government and not-for profit research institutions. The company has approximately 1,000 employees worldwide and maintain sales and distribution operations across the United States, Europe and Asia.(Read more at Wikinvest )