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CombiMatrix Shares Rocket Higher Following Publishing of Largest Head-to-Head Studies Which Show Favoring of CMA

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CombiMatrix Corporation (Nasdaq: CBMX), a molecular diagnostics company performing DNA-based testing services for developmental disorders and cancer diagnostics, today announced that a pair of studies published in a leading journal favor chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) over traditional karyotyping for genetic prenatal diagnosis and genetic evaluation of stillbirths. The two large studies, published in the current edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, represent the largest head-to-head studies comparing CMA to traditional karyotyping. Both concluded that CMA identified additional, clinically significant genetic abnormalities compared to karyotyping in both the prenatal diagnostic setting as well as the evaluation of stillbirths.

Ronald Wapner, M.D., one of the nation's leading clinicians in the field of reproductive genetics and the lead author of the prenatal diagnosis study and a co-author on the stillbirth study, has called for CMA to replace karyotyping, which has been the traditional standard of care for these tests. Wapner is the Director of Reproductive Genetics at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and the Vice Chairman of Research and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.

While Wapner noted that the transition to CMA from karyotyping in clinical practice will be gradual, as physicians and patients continue to be educated about its use, the two studies make the choice clear: "Why would anyone want to continue to use the standard method, which gives only part of the answer?" Dr. Wapner said in a statement published earlier this year by the New York Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center.

The larger of the two studies, entitled "Chromosomal Microarray Versus Karyotyping for Prenatal Diagnosis," enrolled 4,406 women. In 4,340 (98.8 percent) of the fetal samples, microarray analysis was successful. The second study, entitled "Karyotype Versus Microarray Testing for Genetic Abnormalities After Stillbirth," 532 stillbirths were analyzed. That study concluded that "microarray analysis is more likely than karyotype analysis to provide a genetic diagnosis, primarily because of its success with nonviable tissue, and is especially valuable in analyses of stillbirths with congenital anomalies…"

Both studies were funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development—part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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