Posted: March 12, 2009

CombiMatrix Receives New Contract From NASA

(Nanowerk News) CombiMatrix Corporation announced today that it has received a four year contract for $858,298 from NASA's Ames Research Center to design and test a microfluidic system that incorporates CombiMatrix's semiconductor microarray as part of an integrated genetic analysis platform that can be deployed in satellites. Funding to CombiMatrix for the first year of this program will be $214,051 with three option years at similar funding levels.
Dr. David Danley, CombiMatrix's Director of Homeland Security and Defense Programs said, "NASA investigators recently reported that bacteria grown in a microgravity environment became more virulent. As a result, NASA is concerned about the effects of space flight on many aspects of bacterial genetics and metabolism. Our microfluidic system and custom DNA microarray with electrochemical detection can be integrated into a compact package to provide all of the capabilities of ground-based research instruments for studying genetic changes in bacteria over time as they circle the earth." This project is possible because CombiMatrix has reduced the footprint of its array reader to the size of a cell phone. This device, which is the industry's smallest and most cost-effective reader will be launched in the third quarter of this year.
"The ability to have a completely automated sample collection, preparation, and analysis system is obviously a necessity for space-based applications where human technical intervention is not possible. The development of this system for NASA will also enable highly automated systems for terrestrial applications by the U.S. military, as well as non-military medical applications," stated Dr. Amit Kumar, President and CEO of CombiMatrix. "Therefore, we are pleased that this contract will enable dual-use applications, and that our technology continues to find interest from U.S. government agencies."
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.
Source: CombiMatrix (press release)
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