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ALAMAR BIOSCIENCES TO PRESENT NEW METHOD FOR TESTING DRUG-RESISTANT TUBERCULOSIS AT ASM CONVENTION

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Alamar Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: ALMR), a research and development company that develops, manufactures and markets in vitro diagnostic testing products, will present an alternative method for testing whether drugs used in treating tuberculosis are resistant to the TB bacteria. The presentation will be given tomorrow at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Convention being held in Atlanta. Representatives of the University of California, San Francisco General Hospital and Alamar will present the methodology.
 According to Dr. Michael V. Lancaster, president and co-founder of Alamar, the application employs the company's proprietary indicator dye, alamarBlue(TM), which is non-toxic and uses a color change to interpret test results. "The application has been undergoing testing at the University of California, San Francisco General Hospital in the laboratories of Dr. Keith Hadley and Dr. David Yajko. Preliminary findings from the medical center have been very encouraging," he said.
 Using the colorimetric properties in alamarBlue, a bacterium would be considered resistant to the drug if the test changes from blue to red. Initial studies by the UCSF General Hospital using the product for drug-resistance testing of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, the bacteria that can cause TB, and Mycobacterium Avium Complex diseases have produced results in three to five days. The most widely used test for this procedure, the Bactec radiometric method, produces results in four to seven days. "There are significant differences between the alamarBlue method and the Bactec method," Lancaster said. "The Bactec method is radioactive and is only applicable for testing M.tuberculosis. It also requires a high-end instrument for interpreting test results. By comparison, the alamarBlue method is non-toxic, can be tested for various mycobacteria and can be read manually, which can be important for wide use, especially in third world countries."
 Lancaster indicated that the Bactec method was introduced over a decade ago. Since then, no new tests have been approved for use in susceptibility testing for TB, although new methods are being explored with the resurgence of the disease. "Alamar has an edge over the new technologies being explored because our base methodology has already received FDA clearance for bacterial susceptibility testing," he said. "Depending on the results of a multi-hospital study that we plan to get underway later this year, we would only need FDA clearance for the use of the technology on mycobacterium. Alamar could be first to market with a new product should clinical studies continue to be favorable and the FDA clears the test."
 Susceptibility testing of alamarBlue for M.TB and MAC are being conducted by Yajko and Hadley of the General Hospital Medical Center at UCSF.
 alamarBlue is the base product used in the company's bacterial identification/susceptibility test kits. The kits identify the type of bacteria and the appropriate type and dosage of antibiotics effective in treating bacterial infections. Under a development agreement with Pfizer Inc., Alamar is also developing the first susceptibility test for yeast infections. "M.tuberculosis and M.avium complex would simply be an extension of the test to additional microorganisms," Lancaster said.
 The technical poster on the alamarBlue method will be presented Wednesday, May 19, at 9 a.m., at the American Society for Microbiology Convention in Atlanta, session 208, paper U20, board 301. Hadley, Yajko and Lancaster will be presenting.
 The World Health Organization declared tuberculosis a national research priority after the disease re-emerged beginning in the mid- 1980s. Estimates from the Center for Disease Control indicate that between 10 and 15 million people in the United States are infected with M.tuberculosis, and about 10 percent of them will develop the disease. The return of TB is attributed to individuals who have failed to complete the six-month prescription of antibiotics for the disease and the high-infection rate of immunosuppressant patients, such as those with AIDS. The re-emergence of TB is marked by drug-resistant strains that do not respond to antibiotics currently prescribed for treating the disease.
 Alamar Biosciences Inc. is a research and development company that develops, manufactures and markets in vitro (outside the body) testing products for the identification and antibiotic dosage level in the treatment of bacterial infections and alamarBlue(TM), an indicator dye. Products are marketed to hospitals, reference laboratories, research and biotechnology laboratories and other health care providers. The company's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol ALMR.
 For information on Alamar Biosciences, Inc. by FAX, dial 800-PRO-INFO, extension 141.
 -0- 5/18/93
 /CONTACT: Kenneth Miller of Alamar, 916-567-3475; or Elizabeth Truax, 415-986-1591, or Kathy Brunson, 312-266-7800, both of the Financial Relations Board, for Alamar/
 (ALMR)


CO: Alamar Biosciences Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

GT -- SF003 -- 9608 05/18/93 09:12 EDT
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Date:May 18, 1993
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