Healthcare Industry News:  Cytogen 

Diagnostics Oncology

 News Release - June 25, 2007

CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics Launches HemeScan(TM) Ploidy Test for the Management of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq:CBMX ; Nasdaq:ACTG ) announced today that its CombiMatrix group's subsidiary, CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics (CMDX), has completed the clinical validation and launched the second of its HemeScan(TM) suite of BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) array CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization) based tests. The test is designed to quickly evaluate tumor genomic content (ploidy), a strong predictor of clinical outcome in pediatric and adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This test is now available to the clinical community through both routine clinical sample processing as well as through CMDX's innovative Technical Only Program for reference laboratories. The HemeScan tests are the industry's first clinically validated cancer diagnostics based on BAC array CGH technology.

Several thousand cases of ALL are diagnosed each year in the United States. The majority of cases occur in children and adolescents with an incidence rate in the 1 to 4 year old age group, almost 10 times that of young adults. The overall cure rate for ALL in children has improved dramatically in the past decade due in large measure to the application of improved chemotherapeutic agents combined with risk-adapted therapy based on prognostic factors. However, in adults the importance of tumor genomic content as a prognostic indicator has only recently been shown to be an important predictor of clinical outcome.

Recent studies have shown that patients with hyperdiploid ALL (greater than 50 chromosomes per leukemia cell) have a generally favorable prognosis, particularly those with extra copies of chromosomes 4, 10 and 17. Conversely the finding of a hypodiploid genome (less than 45 chromosomes per leukemia cell) confers a poor prognosis warranting more aggressive therapy choices. In addition to whole chromosome gains and losses, a number of specific recurrent genomic copy number changes involving genes associated with tumorogenesis such as deletion of the CDKN2A tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 9p and complex karyotypes (greater than 5 genomic rearrangements) have prognostic significance in ALL.

HemeScan is designed to quickly give clinicians an overview of genome ploidy and identify the specific chromosomes gained and lost in the ALL tumor genome. At the same time HemeScan identifies the known prognostic genomic imbalances relevant to the clinical course of ALL. When used in conjunction with FISH (Fluorescence in-situ Hybridization) for identification of clinically relevant balanced translocations, HemeScan provides an innovative alternative to time consuming and laborious traditional Cytogenetic methods for enumerating chromosomal content of a tumor genome.

"We are very pleased with the performance of our HemeScan array in ALL. It is an important addition to our HemeScan suite of products designed to give hematopathologists the ability to provide clinicians and patients with information about prognosis at the time of their leukemia diagnosis," said Dr. Shelly Gunn, Medical Director of CMDX. "Our HemeScan Ploidy test for ALL, the most common leukemia in children, complements our recently introduced HemeScan Prognostic test for CLL, the most common leukemia in adults. We look forward to adding additional hematology/oncology tests in the near future as we continue to leverage the information gleaned from the complete sequencing of the human genome through our partnership with the world renowned Centre for Applied Genomics in Toronto."

According to Dr. Ryan Robetorye, assistant professor and hematopathologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, "The HemeScan test is transforming our ability to go beyond the diagnosis of leukemia, and quickly provide clinically relevant prognostic information about the tumor genome to our clinicians. Leukemia cells from patients with the same diagnosis often look virtually the same under the microscope, but response to treatment and ultimately outcome are often dramatically different. Scanning leukemia genomes for ploidy status and prognostically relevant copy number changes give us clues about how the tumor may behave and positively impacts treatment decisions and patient management."

"The release of our second HemeScan product solidifies our role as the leading designer, manufacturer and clinical provider of innovative array based molecular diagnostic tests and places us firmly on track toward our goal of being the premiere center of excellence for cutting edge molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine initiatives," said Dr. Mansoor Mohammed, President and CEO of CMDX.

ABOUT ACACIA RESEARCH CORPORATION

Acacia Research Corporation comprises two operating groups: Acacia Technologies Group and CombiMatrix Group.

The CombiMatrix group is developing a platform technology to rapidly produce tailored-content arrays, which are semiconductor-based tools for use in identifying and determining the roles of genes, gene mutations and proteins. The CombiMatrix's group's technology has a wide range of potential applications in the areas of genomics, proteomics, biosensors, drug discovery, drug development, diagnostics, combinatorial chemistry, material sciences and nanotechnology.

The Acacia Technologies group develops, acquires, and licenses patented technologies. Acacia controls 71 patent portfolios covering technologies used in a wide variety of industries including audio/video enhancement & synchronization, broadcast data retrieval, computer memory cache coherency, credit card fraud protection, database management, data encryption & product activation, digital media transmission (DMTŪ), digital video production, dynamic manufacturing modeling, enhanced Internet navigation, image resolution enhancement, interactive data sharing, interactive television, laptop docking station connectivity, microprocessor enhancement, multi-dimensional bar codes, resource scheduling, spreadsheet automation, and user activated Internet advertising.

Acacia Research-Acacia Technologies (Nasdaq:ACTG ) and Acacia Research-CombiMatrix (Nasdaq:CBMX ) are both classes of common stock issued by Acacia Research Corporation and are intended to reflect the performance of the respective operating groups and are not issued by the operating groups.

Information about the Acacia Technologies Group and the CombiMatrix Group is available at www.acaciaresearch.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof. Our actual results may differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and uncertainties, including the economic slowdown affecting technology companies, our ability to successfully develop products, rapid technological change in our markets, changes in demand for our future products, legislative, regulatory and competitive developments and general economic conditions. Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, recent and forthcoming Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, recent Current Reports on Forms 8-K and 8-K/A, and other SEC filings discuss some of the important risk factors that may affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.


Source: Acacia Research

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