Response Biomedical Corp. has entered a marketing anddistribution agreement for its first product with a Germanpharmaceutical company, Alpha Therapeutic GmbH, that shouldraise $634,400 for the Vancouver, British Columbia,biotechnology company (VSE:RBM.V).

The product, a disposable diagnostic test for measuringgranulocyte levels, will be marketed to chemotherapy patients,who can use it to monitor their response to treatment at home.It will allow patients to gauge how quickly their immunesystems recover from the cell-killing chemotherapy sessionsand schedule follow-up treatments accordingly, companyspokesman Marc Davis told BioWorld.

The home test avoids the expense and inconvenience ofhospital-based laboratory tests and could improve treatmentoutcome.

Alpha Therapeutic GmbH of Dusseldorf is focused ondeveloping cancer drug therapies. It is a wholly ownedsubsidiary of U.S.-based Alpha Therapeutic Corp., which itself iswholly owned by the Japan-based Green Cross group ofcompanies. Alpha U.S. had revenues in excess of $300 millionduring fiscal 1992.

Alpha will pay Response $63,190 for marketing anddistribution rights for the Response GM test kit, and willcomplete a private placement for another $568,710. Thesepayments are scheduled over the next five months and shouldnet Response approximately $634,400.

Alpha has also requested the right of first negotiation ifResponse decides to grant other territorial rights within Europe.Germany represents about half the European home diagnosticsmarket. The kit is worth about $40 million in Germany inpotential sales to cancer patients.

Response plans clinical trials for the kit in the U.S. early nextyear and anticipates launching the product in the U.S. later thatyear.

The kit was invented in 1990 by medical scientists at theUniversity of British Columbia in Vancouver. Response, whichwas founded in 1980 as Little Bear Resources, went public in1984. It became a biomedical company when it changed namesand direction seven years later. The company said it has 10million shares outstanding, $13.5 million capitalization and nodebt.

-- Nancy Garcia Associate Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.