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GEN News Highlights : Mar 16, 2007

CombiMatrix Wins U.S. Air Force Contract to Advance Flu-Detection System

The field-deployable Influenza Genotyping System can identify H5N1, as well as all human strains of influenza A.

CombiMatrix has been awarded a contract worth $869,000 by the Air Force Research Laboratory to advance its Influenza Genotyping System. The field-deployable system is based on the company’s CustomArray™ microarray platform and ElectraSense™ detection technologies.

The system can provide a compact and rugged analyzer to identify H5N1 bird flu, all human strains of influenza A, and various other upper-respiratory pathogens of interest, according to CombiMatrix. This is an advantage over conventional assays, which either identify the matrix protein that is common to all influenza A strains or individual variants of the two cataloging proteins, hemagglutinin (H) and neurominidase (N), the company adds.

The influenza genotyping assay can be tailored to provide the level of detail needed to understand and predict trends during the worldwide flu season. This system is currently used by several government laboratories in their influenza studies, according to CombiMatrix.