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No 14 ABI Biotechnology Inc.

NO.14 ABI BIOTECHNOLOGY INC.

Dr. A.D. Friesen, founder and president of ABI started his company in 1985 as an intermediate in the production side of Growth Hormone. Focusing on the later stages of development, such as formulation, sterile filling, freeze-drying and quality control, the company works in conjuction with Bio-Tech General to produce recombinant human Growth Hormone (hGH) for the Canadian market.

Sold under the trade name Abitropin, the drug has been used primarily to treat patients with pituitary dwarfism. "The marketing of Abitropin is the base for ABI to become a fully integrated pharmaceutical company," says Dr. Friesen.

Because of the difficulty in obtaining pituitary hGH in the past, it was used only in severe cases--approximately 400 patients per year. With increased production, less severe cases can now be treated, meaning annual revenues at ABI are projected to rise from $2 million to $5 million in 1990 and could reach as high as $10 million by 1991. Research budgets will also rise from $11 million to $33 million.

Receiving bulk material from Israel, ABI uses facilities at the RH Institute to supply the Dupont Chemical Company in the U.S. and Smith-Kline-French in Europe with Abitropin.

Committed to research in the Growth Factor field, ABI is developing new uses for Growth Hormone in the treatment of burns, wounds and Turner's Syndrome (the absence of one X chromosome in females). In addition, research with Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), which stimulates the growth of epithelial and epidermal cells of the skin and the use of Growth Hormone in chronic renal failure will give the potential for dynamic growth, says Dr. Friesen.

Under contract with APO TEX, a generic pharmaceutical company, ABI is developing three drugs, the first being Adromycin, used in the treatment of cancer. Dr. Friesen sees the potential for tremendous growth in the next three years, doubling the number of employees and expanding the present facilities three-fold.
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Title Annotation:Manitoba's 50 Fastest Growing Companies
Author:Matwijiw, Colleen
Publication:Manitoba Business
Date:Jan 1, 1990
Words:320
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