CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics is talking to both Laboratory Corporation of America and Quest Diagnostics, as well as a "few others" as potential customers or distributors of its cancer molecular diagnostics, PGX Reporter learned this week.
According to CombiMatrix vice president Bret Undem, CMD hopes to obtain clinical laboratory improvement amendment (CLIA) certification by the end of the year, which is when it plans to have its first microarray-based diagnostic products ready.
The first three products, all based on CombiMatrix's CustomArray microarray technology, will focus on the diagnosis of lymphoma, melanoma, and the identification of tumors of unknown origin. Undem declined to comment on the "exact competitive advantage" of CMD's tests over those of others, for example a microarray gene expression profile for tumors of unknown origin developed by Arcturus Bioscience. Asked whether Arcturus and its partners would be a potential competitor, Undem said "I leave that up to you to decide."
Last week, CMD said it hired three new executives “(see Pharmacogenomics Reporter 5/26/2005), two coming from US Pathology Labs, which was purchased by LabCorp at the end of last year. Together with CEO Matt Watson and COO Dave Baunoch, this brings the number of former US Labs managers at CMD to four.
CMD also recently moved into US Labs' old lab space, sub-leased from LabCorp, in Irvine, Calif. The company currently has 10 employees and plans to add another five or so by the end of the year, according to Undem.