announced today that it has received a new contract from the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to initiate a new program utilizing its array
technology and ElectraSense(r) reader. This program is focused on the development
of a new application of CombiMatrix's microarray technology and involves the
synthesis of molecules known as "aptamers," which are molecules with
unique biological properties. Synthesis of aptamers followed by iterative evolution
of these molecules, coupled with CombiMatrix's electrochemical-detection techniques,
could enable powerful, label-free detection systems that could revolutionize
analysis applications such as diagnostics, chemical measurement, biological
and chemical agent detection, and others.
CombiMatrix's technologies are ideally suited for this type of work and the
corresponding applications because of the ease with which customized molecules
can be synthesized, and re-synthesized with necessary modifications, and the
use of electrochemical measurement techniques pioneered by the company. Other
array technologies do not have the functional capabilities of CombiMatrix's
technology platform. The amount of the grant for this proof-of-concept study
"This funding will allow us to explore largely uncharted capabilities
and applications that are inherent in our core technologies," stated Dr.
David Danley, Director, Homeland Security and Defense Programs at CombiMatrix.
"This seed funding will support a proof-of-concept demonstration of our
capabilities. If successful, we will be seeking larger amounts of funding for
continued development for this brand-new application of our technology."
"We are pleased that DARPA is supporting this research, as it may enable
a whole series of new grants and contracts from the government," noted
Dr. Amit Kumar, President and CEO of CombiMatrix. "While there are specific
military needs and goals associated with this contract, the success of this
program will enable commercial non-military applications and products addressing
markets such as diagnostics, chemical sensing, analytics, and others. We hope
this initial funding will lead to additional contracts and an additional portfolio
of products for military and commercial markets."