More MS news articles for December 1999

Pathobiotek Reports Significant Advancement in Quantitation of Bloodborne Bacteria

 Thursday December 9, 8:00 am Eastern Time
 Company Press Release
 SOURCE: Pathobiotek Diagnostics Inc.

HOUSTON, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Pathobiotek Diagnostics Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: PBTK - news), a developer of products for the diagnosis and evaluation of treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other immune disorders, Monday announced that significant progress has been made in the development of a more accurate method of quantitation of the bloodborne bacteria, working name Luey. Elevation of levels of Luey has been seen in patients with immune disorders, such as MS and CFS. The establishment of a precise quantitation method of Luey in MS and CFS patients could lead to a more decisive and defined diagnosis than is currently available. The most widely accepted diagnosis for these diseases depends on subjective symptomatic observations and often expensive testing, including Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Pathobiotek's advancement in this area could significantly impact the future of immune disease diagnostics.

Previous research on Pathobiotek's ``Luey Technology Platform'' has yielded significant improvements in the methods used for culturing and studying Luey. Analysis of Luey's genetic material, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), has been possible by the development of a Luey-specific assay using the polymerase chain reaction, PCR. This allows amplification of minute amounts of Luey's DNA, as seen in some healthy individuals. Although this method is very sensitive, a more precise method of quantitation was needed to determine total amounts of Luey in healthy vs. non-healthy individuals. RT-PCR was developed by research scientists at Pathobiotek to provide a more precise method of quantitation. RT-PCR is a more accurate measure of the level of bacteria in an individual because it is based on the quantitation of the genetic material, ribonucleic acid (RNA), instead of DNA. Measurement of RNA is a better method of quantitation because it accurately determines the levels of living bacteria.

The initial quantitative study using the newly developed RT-PCR tested sixteen samples, eleven MS patients, and five healthy individuals (controls). Out of the sixteen individuals tested, all eleven MS patients gave a positive result, while four out of five healthy individuals gave a negative result. Each of the eleven patients produced the appropriate sized band and in the correct proportion for quantitation. Three of the sixteen samples were sequenced and produced the correct sequence corresponding to Luey. This assay incorporated an internal control that followed the RNA isolation procedure and the efficiency of the PCR reactions. Testing is currently underway at Pathobiotek to verify the preliminary results obtained from RT-PCR.

The development of reliable RT-PCR is the first major step in the development of quantitative PCR. The quantitative PCR process will provide an exact determination of levels of Luey in patients and can be automated to screen a large number of samples in a short time period. The development and implementation of this procedure could provide a more accurate, timely, and less costly method of determining if an individual has MS, CFS, or another immune disorder. Quantitative PCR of Luey is currently being pursued as one of Pathobiotek's primary objectives. Researchers involved in this process are optimistic that the development phase of quantitative PCR will be significantly expedited because of the recent progress made in implementing the RT-PCR procedure.

The new RT-PCR reagents and procedure will be available in kit form to select Pathobiotek collaborators. This new product joins the growing line of research reagents currently available for investigation of the bloodborne bacteria, Luey. Earlier this year, Pathobiotek introduced a liquid and solid culture media for growing Luey, Lindner(TM) Culture Media and EJ(TM) Solid Media, respectively, in addition to the PathoAmp(TM) kit for PCR and the PathoFISH(TM) kit for fluorescent in situ hybridization. An antibiotic sensitivity kit, EJ(TM) sensitivity system, is also available. Pathobiotek's product development pipeline is robust with primary focus on continuous improvement through innovative research.

Safe Harbor Statement: Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. Factors that could contribute to such differences include those identified in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 Pathobiotek Diagnostics Inc.
 Fax: 713/939-1835


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Arthur Hartman, (Investor Relations)
Fax: 949/713-3039

SOURCE: Pathobiotek Diagnostics Inc.