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CombiMatrix, Washington State Animal Lab to Test Speed of Firm s Bird Flu Monitor; Shares Rise 5.4 Percent

NEW YORK, May 2 (GenomeWeb News) - CombiMatrix and Washington state's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory will test the company's Influenza Surveillance Technology to see if it can identify avian flu quickly in birds, Combi's parent, Acacia, said today.

 

News of the deal caused shares in CombiMatrix to rise 5.42 percent, or $.12, to $2.34 in mid-afternoon trading.

 

The current validated protocol for verifying a pathogenic influenza strain requires performing PCR to determine the existence of matrix protein gene. If matrix protein exists, researchers perform a successive PCR for hemagglutinin to determine if the H5 gene is also present.

 

Verification and further typing after a positive result requires the sample to be cultured and sequenced, which can take roughly on week or more, Combi said. The company said its monitoring system has shown "in laboratory tests" that it can confirm and type the infection in four hours.

 

"Our goal in this study is to demonstrate that our system produces quick virus typing results in the diagnostic laboratory environment that correlate to the standard protocol," Combi said in a statement.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.