ID Biomedical Corp. has signed an agreement with Italy-based SorinBiomedica SpA. for development of DNA-based diagnostic tests forhepatitis B and hepatitis C.David Hall, manager of corporate development for Vancouver,Canada-based ID Biomedical, said financial terms of the six-monthdeal were not disclosed. He said the agreement covers onlydevelopment of the tests, but the two companies also have begunnegotiations on a licensing contract for marketing potential products.Sorin will use ID Biomedical's Cycling Probe and Scissile Linkagetechnologies to develop diagnostic tests. The two technologies are usedtogether to make probe molecules to detect specific DNA targets. If theDNA sequence being targeted exists, the probe combines with it andthen is cleaved into fragments, which can be detected.Hall said the agreement with Sorin is the first major corporatecollaboration for ID Biomedical, which was formed in 1991. Thecompany's lead products are rapid and direct diagnostic tests fortuberculosis and mycobacterium avium intracellular complex. Inaddition, ID Biomedical's subsidiary, ID Vaccine Corp., has preclinicalstudies under way for development of a tuberculosis vaccine. _Charles Craig

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