October 19, 2001 – Tokyo, Japan – Toshiba Corp. plans to make an entrance into the DNA chip market by March of 2003 with a device to test the efficacy of interferon therapy for patients with hepatitis C, according to Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
Toshiba normally would license the basic technology to a venture company, but in this case the company foresees tremendous demand in the medical field for the DNA chip. By 2005, it expects the device to be generating 5 billion yen per year in sales.
Interferon can be used to treat hepatitis C, but its efficacy varies, and in some patients the drug can cause fever and other side effects. As a result, there is a demand for ways to judge efficacy before drug administration.
Toshiba’s DNA chip is made by attaching gene probes to an array of 96 electrodes built on a silicon substrate.