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CombiMatrix Reports Preliminary Annual Growth of 171 Percent for Prenatal Testing Business

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — CombiMatrix today reported preliminary revenue growth of 172 percent and 171 percent for billable prenatal tests in the fourth quarter of 2012 and full-year 2012, respectively.

In addition, the firm said that overall billable testing volumes, including its de-emphasized oncology segment, grew 21 percent and 25 percent in the quarter and full year, respectively, compared to its 2011 results.

CombiMatrix did not detail its revenues for these periods. It expects to report its operating results in late February and to file its annual report for 2012 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in March.

CEO Judd Jessup attributed the growth to a restructuring effort the company undertook last year, in which it focused its resources on the prenatal testing market and de-emphasized its direct oncology efforts in favor of laboratory partnerships for cancer tests.

"Our refocused commercial strategy began to kick in during the latter half of 2012 and especially in the fourth quarter," Jessup said in a statement. "We believe our focus on [chromosomal microarrays] in the prenatal and pediatric segments is allowing us to gain traction and market share as the technology landscape and standard of care changes."

Jessup added that the publication of a set of studies that appeared last month in the New England Journal of Medicine contributed to the increase in test volume. One study in particular, led by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, indicated that chromosomal microarrays can provide more clinically relevant information than traditional karyotyping, and should become the standard approach in prenatal diagnostics going forward.

The study's principal investigator, Ronald Wapner, professor and vice chairman for research at the department of obstetrics and gynecology at CUMC, joined CombiMatrix's scientific advisory board last year.