Neoprobe Corp. bought the remaining shares of the Swedishmonoclonal antibody-manufacturing company, NewMonoCarb AB, theColumbus, Ohio, company said Monday. Also, Neoprobe and its Israelisubsidiary plan to sign final agreements by the end of the week toestablish Neoprobe-Israel's radiolabeling facility.Together the moves give Neoprobe manufacturing control of itsradioimmunoguided surgery (RIGS) products.Neoprobe acquired 62.4 percent of MonoCarb's outstanding capitalstock in December by issuing 128,096 shares of Neoprobe commonstock. Neoprobe bought the remainder of MonoCarb's stock with about75,000 shares of its stock, David Bupp, Neoprobe's president and chiefoperating officer, told BioWorld. Neoprobe (NASDAQ: NEOP) stockwas down 38 cents per share Monday to close at $5.25, about 13 centsper share less than it was trading at when Neoprobe made theacquisition in December.MonoCarb, which also manufactures blood grouping reagents, has heldan establishment license from the U.S. FDA since 1991.Bupp said marketing approvals are expected in Europe and the U.S., in1995 and 1996, respectively, for products being developed to detectand characterize primary and metastatic colorectal cancer. Both are inPhase III trials. RIGS products for ovarian and breast cancer are inPhase II testing. The RIGS line also includes two therapeutic products_ one for metastatic colorectal cancer (in Phase I/II clinicals) and onefor pancreatic cancer, now in a pilot study.The RIGS technology combines the use of radiolabeled monoclonalantibodies or peptides with a hand-held gamma ray detector designedto find otherwise hidden cancers during surgery."Neoprobe is a unique biomedical company since we still control allour manufacturing rights and all our distribution rights worldwide,"Bupp said. "We would not be surprised to conclude three far-reachingstrategic partnerships over the next 12 months with significant up-frontand milestone payments." He would not elaborate on the status ofcollaborative talks.Bupp said RIGS products in late-stage clinical testing _ for colorectal,ovarian and breast cancer _ have a potential annual market of $700million. n
-- By Jim Shrine
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