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Posted: January 31, 2008

CombiMatrix and Clarient Collaborate on Novel Genomics-Based Test for Chronic Lymphoticic Leukemia

(Nanowerk News) CombiMatrix Corporation (Nasdaq: CBMX) and Clarient, Inc. (Nasdaq: CLRT) today jointly announced establishment of a strategic partnership to market and sell a novel genomics-based cancer test called HemeScan™, a comprehensive test related to the treatment and care of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), among other cancers. The HemeScan test was developed by CombiMatrix and validated in collaboration with a team of high-profile academic centers, including the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.
"The HemeScan test has proven to be a valuable and reliable clinical tool for the management of hematological malignancies (leukemia and lymphomas) and solid tumors characterized by unbalanced chromosomal rearrangements," said Shelly Gunn, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director of Combimatrix Molecular Diagnostics (CMDX), a subsidiary of CombiMatrix Corporation. "Along with CLL, the HemeScan test has also been clinically validated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and is currently being tested for multiple myeloma (MM)."
"The HemeScan test will be marketed by Clarient to pathologists, oncologists, and patients," said Mansoor Mohammed, Ph.D., President and CEO of CMDX. "In choosing our first partner to market our transformative HemeScan test, we felt that Clarient's cancer-focused brand is an ideal fit. Clarient is a nationally recognized cancer diagnostic service laboratory and deploys an expert national sales force with strong relationships with community pathologists and oncologists. We are pleased to have such a preeminent partner market our product and aid in its wide-scale adoption."
The HemeScan test is a comprehensive test enabling prognosis at the time of diagnosis in the treatment and care of CLL patients. The test provides prognostic marker precision with simultaneous diagnostic monitoring of the entire genome in CLL.
"The HemeScan test's technology represents a more precise platform adding greater granularity to assist local pathologists and oncologists in the molecular assessment of this complex disease," said Ken Bloom, M.D., Clarient's Chief Medical Officer. "The traditional cytogenetic test used currently does not reliably give us the information we need to take advantage of the therapeutic capabilities available today. Transitioning the industry to more sophisticated technologies undoubtedly will be a major step in providing personalized therapy for individual patients."
Clarient President and CEO Ron Andrews added that he expects that the HemeScan test will help drive the growth of the Company's hematopathology business. "We are pleased to add CMDX's HemeScan test to our growing portfolio of novel tests and we believe this test will strengthen the competitive positioning of our hematopathology service offering," Andrews noted. "Our leukemia and lymphoma business line is growing nicely as Clarient continues to adopt innovative technologies and tools to assist local pathologists and oncologist as they manage this disease. We look forward to working with CombiMatrix to support Clarient's growing lymphoma/leukemia business and as part of our continued focus on personalized medicine."
CLL is the most common form of the B-cell lineage lymphoproliferative disorders, accounting for about 30 percent of all cases in the USA and Europe. In the U.S. alone, there are greater than 10,000 new cases annually and over 150,000 patients living with the disease. CLL is a clinically heterogeneous disorder with defined risk groups associated with a full spectrum of patient prognostic outcomes. A growing appreciation of the latter has led hematopathologists and oncologists alike to adopt the term "prognosis at diagnosis" in regard to CLL.
The HemeScan test is an innovative approach to the management of CLL. In a single test, it assays all of the genomic loci for copy number aberrations currently measured by commercial multi-probe fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) kits. Moreover, by incorporating recently-identified genomic markers and a global genome perspective, the Companies believe the HemeScan test has the potential to have a transformative impact on the clinical stratification of CLL, enabling prognosis at diagnosis and patient-appropriate risk adapted treatment.
About CombiMatrix Corporation
CombiMatrix Corporation is a diversified biotechnology company that develops and sells proprietary technologies and products, and services in the areas of drug development, genetic analysis, molecular diagnostics, nanotechnology, defense, and homeland security, as well as other potential markets where our products and services could be utilized. The technologies developed include methods to produce DNA arrays for use in identifying and determining the roles of genes, gene mutations, and proteins. These technologies have a wide range of potential applications in the areas of genomics, proteomics, biosensors, drug discovery, drug development, diagnostics, combinatorial chemistry, material sciences, and nanotechnology.
Additional information about CombiMatrix Corporation is available at www.combimatrix.com or call toll free: 1-800-710-0624.
About Clarient
Clarient combines innovative technologies with world class expertise to assess and characterize cancer. Clarient's mission is to provide the services, resources, and critical information to improve the quality and reduce the cost of patient care as well as accelerating the drug development process. The Company's principal customers include pathologists, oncologists, hospitals, and biopharmaceutical companies. The rise of individualized medicine as the new direction in oncology has created the need for a centralized resource providing leading diagnostic technologies such as flow cytometry and molecular testing. Clarient is that resource, having created a state-of-the-art commercial cancer laboratory providing the most advanced oncology testing and drug development services available both onsite and over the web. Clarient is a Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. partner company. www.clarientinc.com
About Safeguard
Founded in 1953 and based in Wayne, PA, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) provides growth capital for entrepreneurial and innovative technology and life sciences companies. Safeguard targets technology companies in Software as a Service (SaaS), Technology-Enabled Services and Internet- based Businesses, and life sciences companies in Molecular and Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Specialty Pharmaceuticals with capital requirements between $5 and $50 million. Safeguard participates in expansion financings, corporate spin-outs, management buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations, and early-stage financings. www.safeguard.com
The statements herein regarding Clarient, Inc. contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainty. Future events and the Company's actual results could differ materially from the results reflected in these forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to: Clarient's ability to effectively market the HemeScan™ test and market acceptance of the new test and the ability of CombiMatrix and Clarient to obtain and maintain necessary regulatory approvals, Clarient's ability to continue to develop and expand its diagnostic services business, Clarient's ability to expand and maintain a successful sales and marketing organization, Clarient's ability to maintain compliance with financial and other covenants under its credit facilities, the continuation of favorable third party payer reimbursement for laboratory tests, unanticipated expenses or liabilities or other adverse events affecting cash flow, uncertainty of success in identifying and developing new diagnostic tests or novel markers, Clarient's ability to compete with other technologies and with emerging competitors in novel cancer diagnostics and dependence on third parties for collaboration in developing new tests, and risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, reports on Form 8-K, and annual reports on Form 10-K. Recent experience with respect to laboratory services, revenues, and results of operations may not be indicative of future results for the reasons set forth above.
Clarient does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or other information contained in this document.
Source: Clarient