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Posted: August 5, 2008
CombiMatrix Receives New Military Contract From DARPA
(Nanowerk News) CombiMatrix Corporation (Nasdaq:CBMX) announced today that it has received a new contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to initiate a new program utilizing its array technology and ElectraSense® reader. This program is focused on the development of a new application of CombiMatrix's microarray technology and involves the synthesis of molecules known as "aptamers," which are molecules with unique biological properties. Synthesis of aptamers followed by iterative evolution of these molecules, coupled with CombiMatrix's electrochemical-detection techniques, could enable powerful, label-free detection systems that could revolutionize analysis applications such as diagnostics, chemical measurement, biological and chemical agent detection, and others.
CombiMatrix's technologies are ideally suited for this type of work and the corresponding applications because of the ease with which customized molecules can be synthesized, and re-synthesized with necessary modifications, and the use of electrochemical measurement techniques pioneered by the company. Other array technologies do not have the functional capabilities of CombiMatrix's technology platform. The amount of the grant for this proof-of-concept study is $250,000.
"This funding will allow us to explore largely uncharted capabilities and applications that are inherent in our core technologies," stated Dr. David Danley, Director, Homeland Security and Defense Programs at CombiMatrix. "This seed funding will support a proof-of-concept demonstration of our capabilities. If successful, we will be seeking larger amounts of funding for continued development for this brand-new application of our technology."
"We are pleased that DARPA is supporting this research, as it may enable a whole series of new grants and contracts from the government," noted Dr. Amit Kumar, President and CEO of CombiMatrix. "While there are specific military needs and goals associated with this contract, the success of this program will enable commercial non-military applications and products addressing markets such as diagnostics, chemical sensing, analytics, and others. We hope this initial funding will lead to additional contracts and an additional portfolio of products for military and commercial markets."
About CombiMatrix Corporation
CombiMatrix is a diversified biotechnology business, through the development of proprietary technologies, products and services in the areas of drug development, genetic analysis, molecular diagnostics, nanotechnology research, defense and homeland security markets, as well as other potential markets where their products and services could be utilized.
The technologies CombiMatrix has developed include a platform technology to rapidly produce customizable, 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.
CombiMatrix has also developed the capabilities of producing arrays that utilize bacterial artificial chromosomes on our arrays, also enabling genetic analysis. Other technologies include proprietary molecular synthesis and screening methods for the discovery of potential new drugs. CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. ("CMDX"), their wholly owned subsidiary located in Irvine, California, has developed capabilities of producing arrays that utilize bacterial artificial chromosomes, which also enable genetic analysis.
Additional information about CombiMatrix Corporation is available at www.combimatrix.com or by calling 1-800-985 CBMX (2269). Additional information about our laboratory, CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics, is available at www.cmdiagnostics.com or by calling 1-800-710-0624.