Beckman Coulter Signs Exclusive Deal for New Sepsis Marker

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Beckman Coulter,

Inc. announces it has signed an exclusive licensing

agreement with Research and Diagnostic Antibodies LLC for R&D Abs'

inducible nitric oxide (iNOS) monoclonal antibodies and patents. iNOS is an

exciting new marker in blood that appears to be useful in for the detection

and management of patients at risk for developing sepsis, a serious medical

condition.

Beckman Coulter intends to develop iNOS tests for use on all Beckman

Coulter Access systems, including the SYNCHRON LX i 725 chemistry-

immunoassay system and the high throughput UniCel DxI 800 immunoassay

system. The company hopes to introduce these tests in 2005.

"The manufacture, sales and distribution of a new marker for sepsis can

provide a diagnostic tool for a disease that is severely underserved. Most

importantly, we have the opportunity to improve patient outcomes while

reducing costs," said Mike Whelan, vice president of Beckman Coulter's

immunoassays and nucleic acid testing business center. "The licensing and

development of this important analyte will be another milestone in the rapid

expansion of our immunoassay menu with 'best of breed' assays for management

of disease."

Sepsis is the body's response to a bloodborne infection. Often the

inflammatory response spirals out of control leading to organ failure, septic

shock and death. Unfortunately, the early signs of sepsis, such as fever and

elevated white blood cell count, are common to many less threatening

conditions. Without sensitive and specific diagnostic tools, sepsis may not

be recognized until it has progressed to a severe, life threatening stage.

The New England Journal of Medicine recently identified sepsis as the second

leading cause of death among patients in noncoronary intensive care units and

the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States.

"It is my hope that iNOS will enable early diagnosis and management of

patients at risk for sepsis," stated Robert Webber, PhD, president and

founder of R&D Abs. "We are very excited to have licensed our intellectual

property to Beckman Coulter to develop diagnostic assays based upon the

detection of iNOS in blood. Our clinical trial data demonstrates that iNOS

could be an important early marker for the onset of sepsis. Licensing our

technology to Beckman Coulter, a market leader in clinical diagnostic

innovation, is the best approach we can take to develop this test and bring it

to market."

According to the Society of Critical Care Medicine, sepsis kills more

Americans than breast cancer, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer and

prostate cancer combined, and it affects more than 10 percent of the

14 million patients annually treated in intensive care units in U.S.

hospitals. Of these, approximately 250,000 die of sepsis despite aggressive

and expensive treatments. In addition, care of patients with sepsis has

resulted in an economic burden of more than $17 billion annually in the United

States alone.

R&D Abs LLC, a private company based in Las Vegas, NV, is a holding

company for the intellectual property developed and patented by its affiliated

company, Research & Diagnostic Antibodies, that discovers and

develops novel immunological reagents for research and clinical applications.

The test for sepsis is the company's most advanced clinical project and is

based upon its patented iNOS monoclonal antibodies. The company is developing

additional clinical tests for other diseases using human iNOS as a specific

biochemical marker of disease. R&D Abs also has on going projects to identify

other unique markers of disease based upon its proprietary technologies.

Beckman Coulter, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of biomedical testing

instrument systems, tests and supplies that simplify and automate laboratory

processes.

Source: Beckman Coulter, Inc.

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