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CombiMatrix Corporation (Nasdaq:CBMX) today announced positive preliminary data on its investigational Comprehensive Cancer Array (CCA) test showing it can non-invasively screen for the early detection of cancer. The study focused on prostate, colon, ovarian, breast, and lung cancers, as these five cancers comprise roughly 85% of all solid tumors in the United States. The results were presented at Cambridge Healthtech Institute's 16th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference being held February 25-27, 2009, in San Francisco.
Preliminary data using serum from cancer-free patients and patients with cancer at various stages (stage 1 to stage 4) were presented. CombiMatrix used a comprehensive micro RNA (miRNA, a recently discovered type of nucleic acid) array built on its CustomArray(tm) platform to perform this study. The study's key demonstration was that the miRNA expression patterns, in blood, for patients with cancer (including early stage 1) were dramatically different from patients who were cancer-free. The resulting analysis indicated that a clear distinction could be made between patients with cancer and those without. Results also indicated that identification of the specific cancer was possible. Further data from this and other studies will be presented in the coming months.
"We are very pleased with the initial results of our Comprehensive Cancer Screening test. Early detection is the key to improving survival in cancer patients, and we believe that our non-invasive, blood-based screening test could revolutionize the way cancer is diagnosed and treated." said Dr. Amit Kumar, President and CEO of CombiMatrix. "This test has the potential to provide tremendous benefits to patients as well as significant cost savings in the healthcare system."
While early detection and treatment is proven to improve survival for cancer patients, there are no non-invasive, blood-based early screening tests except for those used in prostate cancer. As a result, patients tend to delay screening tests such as colonoscopies due to their invasive nature, which reduces the likelihood that such cancers will be detected and treated early.
"We believe there is significant market potential for this test," Dr. Kumar, continued. "Candidates for this test include all individuals over 40, those with a history of cancer in the family, as well as those who have been tested to have a high genetic risk of contracting cancer (for example those who are positive using Myriad Genetic's (NASDAQ:MYGN) BRACAnalysis(r) test for breast cancer risk)."
It is anticipated that the test will be ordered annually for patients in the noted categories, or perhaps more frequently. The test is non-invasive, requiring only a blood sample from the patient. The CCA is not designed to identify those who might be at high risk of cancer. The goal of this test is to identify existing cancerous or pre-cancerous growths in individuals at the time of the test and furthermore, to identify the organ system where the growth might be. CombiMatrix hopes to launch the test in 2010 and believes the market opportunity for this single test is in the range of several billion dollars annually in the U.S. alone.
The study, titled "Detection of Cancer with Serum miRNAs on an Oligonucleotide Microarray," was presented as a poster by Dr. Dominic Suciu, Senior Scientist at CombiMatrix. The poster can be viewed at investor.combimatrix.com/miRNAPoster.cfm.
BRACAnalysis(r) is a registered trademark of Myriad Genetics, Inc.
About CombiMatrix Corporation
CombiMatrix Corporation is a diversified biotechnology business that develops proprietary technologies, including products and services in the areas of drug development, genetic analysis, molecular diagnostics, nanotechnology and defense and homeland security markets, as well as in other potential markets where our products and services could be utilized. The technologies we have developed include a platform technology to rapidly produce user-defined, in-situ synthesized, oligonucleotide arrays for use in identifying and determining the roles of genes, gene mutations and proteins. This technology has a wide range of potential applications in the areas of genomics, proteomics, biosensors, drug discovery, drug development, diagnostics, combinatorial chemistry, material sciences and nanotechnology. Other technologies include proprietary molecular synthesis and screening methods for the discovery of potential new drugs. Combimatrix Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. ("CMDX"), our wholly owned subsidiary located in Irvine, California, has developed capabilities of producing arrays that utilize bacterial artificial chromosomes, which also enable genetic analysis. CMDX functions primarily as a diagnostics reference laboratory.
Additional information about CombiMatrix Corporation is available at www.combimatrix.com or by calling 1-800-985 CBMX (2269). Additional information about CMDX is available at www.cmdiagnostics.com or by calling 1-800-710-0624.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof. Our actual results may differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and uncertainties, including the recent economic slowdown affecting technology companies, our ability to successfully develop products, rapid technological change in our markets, changes in demand for our future products, legislative, regulatory, and competitive developments, and general economic conditions. Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, recent and forthcoming Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, recent Current Reports on Forms 8-K and 8-K/A, and other SEC filings discuss some of the important risk factors that may affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.
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Investor Relations Contact:
Amit Kumar, Ph.D., President & CEO
Fax (425) 493-2010
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