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Biotech / Medical : BICO & VITK

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To: Nick Takos who wrote (2394)7/31/2001 5:45:57 PM
From: Tadsamillionaire   of 2395
BIKO Acquires Exclusive Marketing Rights to HIV Diagnostic Test -InstantScreen

Pittsburgh -- (OTCBB NEWSWIRE) -- July 31, 2001, BICO, Incorporated (BIKO: .021) issued a press release announcing that it has acquired the exclusive worldwide marketing rights to a rapid HIV diagnostic test, known as InstantScreen(TM), which takes only 30 seconds to produce results. Instant Screen is currently being evaluated in the laboratories of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, HIV Research Program, in Washington DC where preliminary results on over 500 tests have shown 100% accuracy in both specificity and sensitivity.

The InstantScreen test performs very accurately due to its novel genetically engineered "designer" antigens, which recognize only the HIV virus, eliminating unspecific reactions that often give false positive results, especially where there is high incidence of malaria, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. The test is easy to use, requiring no special training, additional equipment, or refrigeration, which makes it perfectly suited for mass testing in developing countries and equally suitable for clinics, doctor's offices, and even home use where permitted.

Also acquired were two companion rapid tests: InstantConfirm(TM), an 8-minute Western-Blot Type HIV confirmation test; and InstantDifferentiate(TM), used to determine if the patient is infected with either HIV-1 or HIV-2. InstantConfirm is the first such test to successfully transform the widely used gold standard Western Blot laboratory test into a rapid format, usable immediately to confirm a positive result. Altogether, the three tests can be used to diagnose in approximately ten minutes or less a person's HIV infection status, confirm that diagnosis and then determine if a confirmed infection is the less aggressive HIV-2 or the more aggressive HIV-1.

A newly formed BICO subsidiary, Rapid HIV Detection Corp., will market the recently acquired rapid HIV diagnostic tests, which were developed at, and are manufactured by, the German-American Institute for Applied Biomedical Research, GmbH (GAIFAR) in Potsdam, Germany.

BICO is currently in discussions with various political officials, corporations, and other groups regarding use of the diagnostic test(s) wherever AIDS is rampant. Initial target markets for the diagnostics are Africa, India, South America, and the Caribbean, where AIDS is prevalent and the Germany-produced products do not need FDA approval. However, GAIFAR will immediately begin the US FDA approval process, which is expected to be fast- tracked due to the significant need for such a rapid accurate HIV test.

At 9:49 EST, BIKO is slightly higher, + .001 (5%). Volume is 7,359,100.
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