Biotech Research Laboratories (BTRL) announced Monday thatthe National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded it a one-yearcontract worth $898,000 for processing and storing biologicalspecimens from people at high risk from cancer. The contractincludes three one-year options for renewal.

"Biotech Research Laboratories has been the incumbent on theNCI repository contract for the past 10 years, with two five-year contracts," said Mark Manak, the Rockville, Md., company'ssenior vice president.

The repository supports more than 600 different researchstudies that NCI and its collaborators are conducting, andhouses more than 1 million samples, Manak said. BTRL willprovide services for maintaining the current NCI repository."We process the samples and store them," Manak told BioWorld."The majority of the specimens are blood samples, but theyalso include tissue and urine specimens."

BTRL merged with Cambridge Biotech Corp. (NASDAQ:CBCX) in1990, becoming its contract and services division. Then in July1992, privately held Boston Biomedica Inc. of WestBridgewater, Mass., acquired this division in a cashtransaction, to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary under therestored named BTRL.

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