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US Air Force Extends CombiMatrix Contract to Develop Flu Assays

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – CombiMatrix today said that the US Air Force has extended a contract to continue developing an Influenza Genotyping system.
Under the $890,000 deal, CBMX will develop a field-deployable system designed to identify all influenza strains, including H5N1 avian flu, and other respiratory pathogens.
The original program started in 2005 when the USAF’s Institute of Occupational Health paid CBMX $340,000 for a one-year deal to begin developing an array to identify the infections.
Last year’s agreement enabled the company to retain the right to sell the resulting assays to other customers.
CBMX CEO Amit Kumar said it is important to be able to track mutations in bird flu, and added that CBMX’s system can “determine when any other strain of influenza A is gaining an upper hand in a population, and can identify other infectious diseases that cause flu-like symptoms.
The company said the first effort will be to update the array with new information from influenza A sequencing that is related to human disease.

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