Neoprobe Corp. agreed Thursday to grant United States SurgicalCorp. exclusive worldwide sales and marketing rights to its RIGSproducts for surgical detection of cancer.
Neoprobe President David Bupp said his company got all it wantedout of a partnership. "This is the transaction we told the marketplacewe were going to try to do," he said.
United States Surgical (USS), of Norwalk, Conn., will pay Neoprobe,of Dublin, Ohio, $5.5 million, most of it coming upon U.S. andEuropean approval of the RIGScan CR49 product for diagnosingmetastatic colorectal cancer. Neoprobe will book product sales andbe responsible for manufacturing, while paying USS roughly 35percent of sales.
Another aspect of the deal calls for USS to support research on RIGSdiagnostic products, which Bupp said would "be well in excess of$20 million over five years." USS has options on future RIGSdiagnostic products for the next five years.
"We've done exactly what we tried to do," Bupp said. "U.S. Surgicalis the premier company in creating new surgical markets, trainingsurgeons and creating a knowledge base among surgeons."
RIGS, or radioimmunoguided surgery, technology includes aradiolabeled agent that targets cancer cells and a hand-held radiationdetection probe to locate areas where the targeting agent hasaccumulated. An application seeking marketing authorization inEurope was accepted for filing in July. Bupp said a biologic licenseapplication is expected to be filed in the U.S. in the fourth quarter.
Neoprobe's stock (NASDAQ:NEOP) closed unchanged Thursday at$18.13. _ Jim Shrine
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