General Biometrics Inc. has signed a joint venture with Syntello Di-agnostics, a peptide research firm associated with the GoteburgHospital in Sweden.

The San Diego company has acquired all rights to Syntello's existingproducts, will acquire Syntello's existing research and will supportnew research on peptides that Gen Bio will incorporate into assaysfor blood screening, sexual diseases, and allergy.

Financial terms of the three-year agreement were not revealed.

Fred Adler, Gen Bio general manager and vice president, said themost valuable U.S. patent issued to Syntello is for peptides forscreening blood for the human retroviruses HTLV-1 and HTLV-2.Testing blood for these viruses is mandatory in Japan, Germany, andFrance, said Adler, who anticipates that the United States willfollow suit.

Syntello also has patented peptides to screen blood for the HIV-2strain, for which the U.S. already requires screening, said Adler.

Gen Bio (NASDAQ:GNBR) said it is negotiating to license the patentrights to diagnostics companies worldwide. -- RF

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