IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CombiMatrix Corporation (Nasdaq:CBMX), a molecular diagnostics company performing DNA-based testing services for developmental disorders and cancer diagnostics, today announced that it expects to report record volumes of prenatal testing in the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012. Preliminary annual growth rates of 172 percent and 171 percent were achieved for billable prenatal tests in the quarter and full year, respectively. The rapid growth rate in prenatal testing, which includes both prenatal and miscarriage testing, is the result of the Company's strategic shift to focus on its prenatal molecular diagnostics testing markets, where the Company believes that chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) is becoming the standard of care. CombiMatrix is the only publicly-traded company that specializes in CMA. R. Judd Jessup, President and CEO of CombiMatrix said, "Our refocused commercial strategy began to kick in during the latter half of 2012 and especially in the fourth quarter. We believe our focus on CMA in the prenatal and pediatric segments is allowing us to gain traction and marketshare as the technology landscape and standard of care changes. In addition, recent key clinical publications bolstering that paradigm shift should continue to add momentum in those markets as 2013 progresses." Late in 2012, a pair of studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, favored CMA over traditional karyotyping for genetic prenatal diagnosis and genetic evaluation of stillbirths. The two large studies, published in the December edition of the Journal, represented the largest head-to-head studies comparing CMA to traditional karyotyping. Both concluded that CMA identified additional, clinically significant genetic abnormalities compared to karyotyping in both the prenatal diagnostic setting as well as the evaluation of stillbirths. Jessup continued, "CMA gives parents, physicians and educators better tools for anticipatory care by proactively addressing the impacts of many chromosomal disorders. In the case of stillbirths or miscarriages, CMA can be used to determine if there is a genetic reason for these occurrences, especially when it happens more than once, and can give parents valuable information about future pregnancies."