Abbott Laboratories Receives Approval From U.S. Department of Agriculture for Rapid Enfer BSE Test

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. -- Abbott Laboratories announces that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given Abbott permission to sell and distribute its bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) test. The rapid Enfer BSE test provides

results within hours, is easy to use and addresses the workflow needs of USDA-

approved screening laboratories. The test detects the presence of the abnormal proteins believed to cause BSE -- commonly known as mad cow disease.

"The Enfer BSE test has been successful in Europe and Japan, where large scale screening is mandatory," said Joseph M. Nemmers, senior vice president of diagnostic operations at Abbott Laboratories. "As a leader in diagnostic testing and blood screening, we will continue to work with the USDA and offer this high-quality test as part of an overall BSE screening solution."

Since entering into a marketing and distribution agreement in 2001 with Ireland-based Enfer Scientific Ltd., Abbott has been selling the test outside the United States and has exclusive rights to sell the test throughout the world except in Ireland. The Enfer BSE test is approved for cattle testing in the European Union and Japan.

"The rapid Enfer BSE assay tests every bovine brain sample in duplicate," said Jim Koziarz, Ph.D., vice president, research and development, diagnostics, Abbott Laboratories. "If either test result is reactive, the brain specimen is resampled and retested in duplicate. This type of testing method ensures that a true positive would be reliably detected."

More than 3 million samples have been tested for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) using the Enfer test. Additionally, Enfer Scientific is the world's largest TSE screening laboratory routinely performing up to 9,000 tests per day and providing results to beef processors within a minimum turnaround time of 12 hours.

Prior to the approval of rapid BSE tests, the USDA used an immunohistochemistry BSE test which took several days to perform and report the results.

Abbott Laboratories is a global, broad-based healthcare company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 70,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Source: Abbott Laboratories

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