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CombiMatrix Shares up Sharply as Firm Reports Record Prenatal Testing Volumes in Preliminary Q1 Results

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Shares of CombiMatrix rose as much as 25 percent today after the company said that it expects to report record volumes of prenatal testing for the first quarter.

The Irvine, Calif.-based firm said today that for the three months ended March 31, billable prenatal tests were up 124 percent year over year in preliminary results. Investors responded by driving shares up as high as $4.62, up from Wednesday's closing price of $3.46.

By late afternoon, shares of the company's stock remained up 10 percent on Nasdaq at $3.81. The number of CombiMatrix shares exchanging hands was up nearly seven-fold to almost 4.8 million shares.

The firm said that the rapid growth in prenatal testing results from its shift in focus in mid-2012 to concentrate on the prenatal molecular diagnostic testing markets, where it says chromosomal microarray analysis is becoming the standard of care.

"We have been setting internal growth records since we refocused our commercial strategy, and now we are expanding our lab capabilities to realize our goal of being a best-of-class prenatal technology lab," CombiMatrix CEO Mark McDonough said in a statement. "With the technologies to match any lab and the focus of our new prenatal strategy, we anticipate continued strong progress throughout 2013 and beyond."

The firm also said that total billable testing volumes, including its oncology segment, are up about 25 percent year over year for the first quarter.

The company plans to report its first-quarter earnings in mid-May.