American Biogenetic Sciences Inc. (ABS) on Tuesday received aU.S. patent for a monoclonal antibody that is highly specific forfibrinogen and is used in the company's first commercialproduct.

The patent, No. 5,091,512, covers the 45-J antibody and itsmethod of use in an assay to measure levels of fibrinogen inblood plasma. "As a clotting agent, fibrinogen has been found tobe a very important indicator of increased risk of heart attackand stroke," said ABS President Henry Nordhoff.

The potential U.S. market for a fibrinogen test is $250 millionper year, based on 100 million cholesterol tests administeredannually, said Fran Giambanco, vice president foradministration. The potential worldwide annual market is $450million, she said.

ABS (NASDAQ:MABXA) will use the antibody in its Cadkit, amanual latex agglutination test for fibrinogen in blood plasma.Cadkit is the Notre Dame, Ind., company's first commercialproduct and is being test-marketed in Europe.

ABS is discussing U.S. marketing rights to an automated versionof Cadkit with several pharmaceutical companies. The companythat markets the assay will file claims for its use as a predictorof heart attack and stroke after some clinical data is collected,Nordhoff said.

ABS recently gave Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. of Japanan exclusive 15-year license to market in Japan and Taiwan45-J-based fibrinogen assays, Nordhoff said. Yamanouchi madean initial cash payment to ABS and will make royalty paymentsequal to 10 percent of sales.

ABS is developing products based on monoclonal antibodiesfrom mice that will be used to diagnose, prevent and treatcardiovascular disease and to diagnose Alzheimer's disease. Itis also developing a recombinant vaccine for hepatitis A.

The stock gained 63 cents Tuesday to close at $9.63.

-- Kris Herbst BioWorld Washington Bureau

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