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LIGLER, KUSTERBECK RECEIVE TECH TRANSFER AWARD

 LIGLER, KUSTERBECK RECEIVE TECH TRANSFER AWARD
 WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Two scientists from the Naval


Research Laboratory's (NRL's) Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering have been awarded the 1992 Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Technology Transfer Award for Drug Enforcement. The award was presented by Dr. Albert Brandenstein, director of ONDCP's Counter-Drug Technology Assessment Center, at the Federal Laboratory Consortium's (FLC's) spring meeting. The award, which is given annually, recognizes significant technology transfer efforts in support of drug-control measures.
 Dr. Frances Ligler and Anne Kusterbeck were recognized for their initiative in transferring the technology for the NRL-developed flow immunosensor, a novel system to detect drugs of abuse, to the commercial sector. This technology, also developed by Zigler and Kusterbeck, was transferred to United States Alcohol Testing of America, Inc. (USATA) under an exclusive patent license and a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA). (See the following press releases.)
 According to the nomination, the flow immunosensor is a highly sensitive, drug-screening device that is expected to be both timesaving and cost-efficient. Additionally, the equipment is small and lightweight and can be used on-site by non-technically trained personnel. Potential users of the flow immunosensor include transportation agencies, law enforcement agencies, the security industry, the military and U.S. Customs.
 FLC works to enhance the transfer of federal technology to domestic users in industry, state and local government. Membership in FLC consists of representatives from more than 500 federal R&D laboratories and centers of 16 government agencies. NRL's representative to the FLC is Dr. Richard Rein of the Laboratory's Technology Transfer Office.
 The text of the press release issued by the Naval Research Laboratory on Jan. 24 follows:
 NRL SIGNS LICENSING AGREEMENT WITH USAT
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 -- On Jan. 24, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the U.S. Alcohol Testing of America, Inc. (USAT) signed a licensing agreement granting USAT an exclusive right to practice patent-pending technology for the detection of drugs of abuse.
 Title 35 of the United States Code, Section 207, authorizes federal agencies to develop cooperative research and development agreements and to license their patents. The license authorizes the licensee to manufacture and market the product.
 The licensed technology, known as the flow immunosensor, uses antibodies in a unique way to isolate drug molecules from the millions of other molecules present in test samples. Developed by Anne Kusterbeck and Dr. Frances Ligler, researchers in NRL's Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, the flow immunosensor is a rapid detection system that is designed to improve the efficiency of initial drug screening tests as well as decrease related costs and analysis time.
 According to James Witham, president and chief executive officer of the California-based USAT, "The acquisition of this Navy technology allows USAT to round out its product line and provide testing equipment and devices for both alcohol and other drugs of abuse. We feel that this technology will be effective in the nation's war on drugs. The timing of this agreement is of extreme benefit, as the need for less expensive and more efficient drug testing is rapidly expanding."
 The NRL-developed flow immunosensor uses the ability of antibodies to recognize specific molecules at high sensitivity. Almost any molecule can be detected by antibodies, such as environmental pollutants, drugs of abuse or toxins. The licensed technology for the NRL flow immunosensor uses drug antibodies (specific to the drug being tested) to detect drugs of abuse. The antibodies are chemically attached to tiny beads contained within a cylinder the size of a pencil eraser. This chemical attachment immobilizes the antibodies, and fluorescently-labeled signal molecules, which are structurally similar to the drug, are bound to these immobilized antibodies. Test samples are then introduced into a water stream that flows through the cylinder. If the drug is present, it displaces the signal molecules, causing a fluorescent signal. The level of fluorescence is directly proportional to the amount of the drug contained in the sample. Thus far, tests have been successfully conducted using antibodies specific for cocaine and heroin, detecting parts-per-billion quantities of either drug in less than one minute.
 Further advantages of the flow immunosensor are it's simplicity, portability, and low cost of operation.
 The text of the press release issued by the Naval Research Laboratory on April 16 follows:


NRL AND USAT SIGN COOPERATIVE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT
 WASHINGTON, April 16 -- Naval Research Laboratory officials have announced the signing of a cooperative research and development agreement (CRDA) with U.S. Alcohol Testing of America, Inc. (USAT) to cooperate in the research and development of prototype instruments to detect drugs of abuse.
 Government policy, Congressional objectives, and current law related to the CRDA process provide for the transfer of publicly funded technology to the commercial sector.
 The prototype instruments under development, which will be based on NRL's flow immunosensor technology, will be designed to detect cocaine and heroin and other drugs of abuse in humans in one to five minutes. The flow immunosensor uses antibodies in a unique way to detect drug molecules among millions of other molecules present in test samples.
 The work performed by NRL will be conducted under the technical direction of Dr. Frances S. Ligler and Anne W. Kusterbeck, both of the Laboratory's Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering. Work performed by USAT will be accomplished under the direction and management of James Velnosky.
 -0- 5/6/92
 /CONTACT: J. Schultz, information services branch, Naval Research Laboratory, 202-767-2541/ CO: Naval Research Laboratory ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


DC -- DC037 -- 7241 05/06/92 15:55 EDT
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