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CombiMatrix Q4 2004 DNA CustomArray Sales Increase Ten-Fold From Year-Ago Period

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While protein chips will be a new area for CombiMatrix’s array business (see story in this issue, "Jumping Off Fence, CombiMatrix Decides to Enter Developing Protein Array Marketplace"), its DNA CustomArray sales appear to be taking off. The company’s revenues for the fourth quarter of 2004 were $522,000, up from $53,000 during the same quarter a year ago. Revenues comprised $390,000 from government contracts — $73,000 of which were array sales — and $132,000 from CustomArray products and services.

Notably, revenues from CustomArray products almost doubled compared to the third quarter. This trend of sequential growth seems to continue: As of last week, CombiMatrix already had microarray orders that nearly equaled all of its array sales in the fourth quarter.

However, CEO Amit Kumar remained cautious about whether chip sales will be able to keep their momentum. “Because it is difficult to estimate sales growth for such a new product, we do not provide financial guidance at this time but may do so in the future,” he said.

Regarding the launch of the MatrixArray, which CombiMatrix developed for Roche, Kumar said that no decision has been made yet.

He also mentioned that a number of higher density DNA arrays are in the works and that a 95K array is scheduled to be launched sometime next year. In addition, the company is working on new chip formats. “As we go forward, there are a number of other different formats, which are addressing some specific market niches such as the diagnostics market,” he said.

The company spent $1.4 million on research and development during the quarter, down from $1.9 million during the same period a year earlier.

CombiMatrix’s net loss for the quarter was $4.2 million, up from $4.1 million during the same quarter in 2003.

As of Dec. 31, 2004, CombiMatrix had $23.7 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.

— JK

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