American Biogenetic Sciences Inc. (ABS) announced that it hasacquired Epitest, the world's first epilepsy diagnostic kit.
Developed by prominent Russian scientist Svetlana Dambinova,the test has been used successfully in Russian hospitals forseveral years, said ABS (NASDAQ:MABXA) of Copiague, N.Y.
In the past, epilepsy has been diagnosed on observation andelectroencephalogram (EEG) results. The proprietary diagnostickit uses a blood sample to diagnose whether a person is at riskor has developed epilepsy. According to Dambinova, the kit candistinguish between epilepsy and convulsions that appearepileptic -- fever-related convulsions, for example.
The test is based on a human protein fragment that is producedby people who have epilepsy. The company anticipates thatonce it is approved by the FDA, the test "may soon be anessential diagnostic tool for the medical profession."
Also, Free University of Berlin announced a five-yearcollaboration agreement with ABS to develop new compoundsas potential epilepsy and neuroprotective therapeutics.
Professor Heinz Nau at the German university has developed aseries of novel anti-epileptic agents that do not cause thecommon side effects currently associated with the use of anti-convulsants, including sedation and birth defects in infantsexposed during pregnancy.
Approximately 2.5 million people in the U.S. and 45 millionpeople worldwide have epilepsy.
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.