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BAXTER, SANGSTAT SIGN AGREEMENT FOR TRANSPLANT-TESTING PRODUCTS

 DEERFIELD, Ill., May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Baxter Healthcare Corporation, through its Renal Division, and SangStat Medical Corporation announced today that they have signed an agreement to develop, manufacture, market and distribute a line of pre- transplantation-testing products. The products, which will be based on the use of soluble "human leukocyte antigens," or HLA, will help match donated organs with patients waiting for organ transplants. The products are being designed to be used in the transplant procedures involving kidneys, other solid organs and bone marrow.
 Under the agreement, SangStat will develop and manufacture three products to be called PRA-STAT (TM), CROSS-STAT (TM) and TYP-STAT (TM). Baxter will market and distribute the products worldwide. In addition to paying an initial licensing fee, Baxter has taken a 5-percent equity position in SangStat and will pay SangStat royalties and milestone based licensing fees. Other financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 "Payments to SangStat outlined in the agreement create a solid financial base and will generate long-term cash flow for the company," said Philippe Pouletty, M.D., president and chief executive officer of SangStat.
 "Our agreement with SangStat helps to further Baxter's commitment to transplantation and the company's leadership in the field of renal therapy," said Donald W. Joseph, president of Baxter's Renal Division. "This new venture has the potential to produce innovations that will improve the lives of people who need kidneys or other organ transplants."
 Baxter's history of innovation in the treatment of kidney disease includes the introduction of the first commercially developed artificial kidney. Baxter also was the first company to market a portable kidney dialysis system known as continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis.
 "Baxter's extensive marketing know-how and global sales and distribution channels together with SangStat's pioneering research in the field of soluble HLA, represent an exciting combination of skills that should serve the needs of the transplant community and form the basis for a long-term relationship between the two companies," said Dr. Pouletty. "Both companies view transplantation as a growing opportunity where monitoring and therapeutic products are needed to promote donor- organ acceptance and patient well-being."
 Each year, transplant centers in the United States and Europe perform an estimated 30,000 organ transplants. More than 19,000 of these procedures are kidney transplants. Currently, there are approximately 60,000 patients on waiting lists for transplants. Critical to the success of a transplant is the matching of HLA between donor organs and recipients.
 HLA molecules serve as the genetic basis for distinguishing between the cells of the transplant recipient and cells of the donated organ -- also known as the graft. Molecular differences between HLA on the surface of cells in the graft and in a recipient can stimulate the recipient's immune system to reject the donor organ.
 The PRA-STAT (TM) and CROSS-STAT (TM) tests will accurately detect the existence of the recipient's HLA antibodies, and TYP-STAT (TM) will be used to assess the antigen differences between the graft and recipient.
 The identification of the recipient's antibodies and detection of HLA differences between the graft and patient help to determine the time a transplant candidate potentially must wait for a matched organ, the compatibility of the candidate with an organ donor, and the course of post-transplant therapy.
 Current approaches for antibody-antigen testing are difficult to standardize because they require live cells. SangStat has developed a proprietary technology that eliminates the need for live cells. This technology is being used to develop the three products under the agreement, and it will greatly improve standardization and may contribute to enhanced graft acceptance, said Pouletty.
 SangStat Medical Corporation is a privately held biopharmaceutical company founded in 1988 to develop and commercialize products for transplantation. SangStat is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, and operates SangStat Atlantique in Nantes, France. Independent of the Baxter agreement, SangStat also is developing drugs derived from its soluble HLA technology.
 Baxter Healthcare Corporation is the principal domestic operating subsidiary of Baxter International Inc. Baxter, through its subsidiaries, is the leading manufacturer and marketer of health-care products, systems and services. The company offers 120,000 products to health-care providers in 100 countries.
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 /CONTACT: Alan Armer, Ph.D. of Baxter, 708-473-6829; or Mary Curtin, for Baxter, 212-685-1900; or Philippe Pouletty, M.D. of SangStat, 415-328-0300; or Katherine Russell of Russell-Welsh, 415-312-0700, for SangStat/
 (BAX)


CO: Baxter Healthcare Corporation; SangStat Medical Corp. ST: Illinois IN: MTC SU:

LR -- NY030 -- 6390 05/10/93 10:18 EDT
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Date:May 10, 1993
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