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CombiMatrix Corp.(Now Invitae)
IndustryGenetic testing
United States
Key people
Mark McDonough (CEO), Scott Burell (CFO), Weslie Tyson (CMO)
ProductsCombiSNP Array Prenatal, CombiSNP for Miscarriage Analysis, CombiSNP for Pediatric and Postnatal Analysis
ServicesSNP Miscarriage Analysis for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, Prenatal Analysis, Pediatric Analysis, Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS), Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

CombiMatrix Corp. (NASDAQCBMX)[1] CombiMatrix is a clinical diagnostic laboratory specializing in pre-implantation genetic screening, miscarriage analysis, prenatal and pediatric diagnostics, offering DNA-based testing for the detection of genetic abnormalities beyond what can be identified through traditional methodologies. As a full-scale cytogenetic and cytogenomic laboratory, CombiMatrix performs genetic testing utilizing a variety of advanced cytogenomic techniques, including chromosomal microarray analysis, standardized and customized fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and high-resolution karyotyping.[2] CombiMatrix is dedicated to providing high-level clinical support for healthcare professionals in order to help them incorporate the results of complex genetic testing into patient-centered medical decision making.[citation needed]

In 2012 CombiMatrix shifted its focus from providing oncology genetic testing to developmental testing. Their focus is cytogenomic miscarriage analysis, prenatal analysis and postnatal/pediatric analysis.[3][4]


In the mid-1990s, a PhD from CalTech invented a method of analyzing and immobilizing genetic material on the surface of a modified semiconductor wafer. The CombiMatrix microarray ("CombiMatrix" refers to combinatorial chemistry on a matrix array) was born and received US patents in the late '90s. Located in Mukilteo, Washington, the company received several rounds of private financings and filed to go public in November 2000. Unfortunately, CombiMatrix missed its "IPO window" by a few months due to the turmoil that was happening in the financial markets in late 2000 and early 2001, and then the events of Sept. 11 2001 put the final "nail in the coffin" to the company's fundraising plans at the time. So, CombiMatrix shifted gears and began pursuing several funded R&D projects to further develop its proprietary microarray technology with outside entities such as Roche Applied Sciences in Europe, biotech researchers in Japan as well as the U.S. Department of Defense. In late 2002, CombiMatrix merged with and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Acacia Research Corporation of Newport Beach, CA.

From 2002 to 2007, CombiMatrix continued its commercial development of "CustomArray" as it was called and began selling its DNA synthesis instruments and arrays to various R&D facilities throughout the US, Europe and Asia. In an effort to diversify the company from the "tools" R&D sector, the company created CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. and opened a diagnostics lab in Irvine, CA, which was originally led by former US Labs employees with the intent of entering the much larger clinical diagnostics market using its proprietary microarray platform for oncology-related diagnostic services. CMD then branched into pediatric diagnostic testing by introducing other array technologies beyond the CustomArray platform. In 2007, CombiMatrix spun out from Acacia Research Corp. and became an independent public company in August of that year.

By 2010, the clinical lab business was showing promise, while the legacy CustomArray tools business was not achieving the commercial success that was needed to grow the Company. As a result, the CombiMatrix Board made the difficult decision to scuttle the CustomArray tools business in Washington state and instead focus all commercial and operational resources on the diagnostic services business in California. By the end of 2010, the Irvine CLIA lab was the sole remaining commercial operations of CombiMatrix.

Since that time, the company has launched several different genetic diagnostic tests in oncology, pediatric disorders and reproductive health, with the latter becoming the primary growth engine of the Company in recent years. As our Board has often said over the past three years in particular, we have become a "real, commercial company" at CombiMatrix. The company's recent success over the past 16 quarters of consistently increasing revenue and collections while decreasing costs and cash burn led to the successful sale of CombiMatrix to Invitae in November 2017.

CombiSNP Array[edit]

CombiMatrix uses the CombiSNP Array as their technology platform. SNP stands for Single nucleotide polymorphism probes. These probes allow for increased precision and greater diagnostic yield. This array contains more than 845,000 SNP markers covering both coding and non-coding human genome sequences. The median spatial resolution between probes is 1 Kb within gene rich regions and 5 Kb outside of gene-rich regions.[5]


  1. ^ "Sector Update: Health Care Stocks Ending in Deep Hole; CombiMatrix Climbs Off All-Time Lows After Reporting Big Growth in Testing Volumes". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Sector Update: Health Care Stocks Ending in Deep Hole; CombiMatrix Climbs Off All-Time Lows After Reporting Big Growth in Testing Volumes". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  3. ^ "CombiMatrix Corporation". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Chromosomal Microarrays for Prenatal Testing: Interview with CombiMatrix CEO Mark McDonough". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  5. ^ "CombiMatrix Corp 's Pediatric development disorders analysis test granted conditional approval from New York State Department of Health". Retrieved 30 October 2014.

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