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microRNA Expert Joins CombiMatrix Scientific Advisory Board

Published on October 15, 2008 at 10:09 PM

CombiMatrix Corporation announced today that microRNA expert Dr. Muneesh Tewari has joined the Scientific Advisory Board of CombiMatrix. Dr. Tewari is in the Human Biology division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

"I am delighted to have Dr. Tewari on our Scientific Advisory Board," said Dr. Amit Kumar, President and Chief Executive Officer of CombiMatrix. "Last week, I discussed CombiMatrix's project and plans for the Comprehensive Cancer Array(tm) -- an array-enabled test, using a blood sample to screen for multiple types of cancer based on microRNA markers. Dr. Tewari is an expert in the fields of cancer and microRNAs and, we feel, the world's leading researcher specifically on the topic of cancer-related, blood-borne microRNAs. We are excited about him joining our SAB, and we are excited about the Comprehensive Cancer Array project. We feel that there is a potential $12 billion per year market for such a non-invasive test, given as part of regular physical exams, much like the PSA test is today." More information about this revolutionary new product can be found in a webcast that may be accessed on CombiMatrix's website, www.combimatrix.com, in the Investor/Events section (http://investor.combimatrix.com/events.cfm).

"Early detection, at a stage when cancer is curable by surgery, could dramatically reduce mortality caused by most common cancers. An ideal solution would be detection by a simple blood test. MicroRNAs are well-known to be dysregulated in cancer and could form the basis for such a test, but until recently, detecting tumor-derived microRNAs required an invasive sampling of cancer tissue. Showing that tumor-derived microRNAs circulate in a stable form in the blood and that they are present in differing amounts between -healthy individuals and cancer patients was the subject of my and my colleagues' work published in the July 28th issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Successful development of such blood-based detection could have a revolutionary impact upon detection and outcomes of cancer, and I am pleased that CombiMatrix is working in this direction." Some public information about Dr. Tewari's work can be found at the following link: http://www.sciencentral.com/video/2008/07/28/cancer-blood-tests/.

Dr. Tewari earned both an M.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Following his internship and residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center, he went on to train as a clinical and research fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He subsequently joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School as an Instructor and served in various clinical capacities including Staff Physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Affiliate Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital (all affiliates of Harvard Medical School). He currently has a laboratory at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where his group pursues basic and translational studies of microRNAs in cancer.

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