Duke University has signed a five-year agreement with Affymetrix for analysis of genomic information.

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

However, Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFX) said it would fund creative research and clinical projects. Specifics were not spelled out.

Duke researchers will utilize microarray technology from Affymetrix’s GeneChip project. They will focus first on cancer and cardiovascular disease, Duke and Affymetrix said in a statement.

According to Affymetrix, its system will enable Duke to more “rapidly discover RNA and DNA patterns that can better classify, manage and treat complex diseases.”

“This is an exciting time when genomics offers the promise of a deeper understanding of biology while at the same time improving the practice of medicine,” said Joseph Nevins, director of the IGSP Center for Applied Genomics & Technology at Duke. “By combining our research expertise with Affymetrix’ high-throughput microarray technology, we have the opportunity to build on our prior work and develop gene expression profiles that characterize oncogenic (tending to cause or give rise to tumors) pathways and define tumor phenotypes (traits), which are important in determining clinical outcomes.”

Duke: www.duke.edu