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BAXTER ANNOUNCES U.S. INTRODUCTION OF ISOLEX 50 STEM-CELL SELECTION SYSTEM

 SANTA ANA, Calif., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Baxter Healthcare Corp.'s Biotech Group announced today that it has begun to distribute the ISOLEX(TM)50 magnetic-stem-cell selection system in the United States. The ISOLEX 50 allows researchers to identify and extract stem cells from the peripheral blood and bone marrow of cancer patients. Stem cells are the "parent" cells of the blood and immune systems.
 The system uses a protein known as the anti-CD34 antibody to extract stem cells from a cancer patient's blood or bone marrow. The stem cells are purified and then reinfused into the patient to rebuild the immune system following aggressive chemotherapy. This procedure is known as autologous bone-marrow transplantation (ABMT).
 Baxter unveiled the system in January at the European Bone Marrow Transplantation meeting in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
 "The ISOLEX 50 can produce the highest degree of purity in CD34-cell collection," said Dennis Chenoweth, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of medical affairs for the Biotech Group's Immunotherapy Division. "This new capability for stem-cell preparation is important for the removal of T-lymphocytes or tumor cells, which may contaminate donor bone marrow. Based on data collected in France at the l'Hopital St. Louis, the ISOLEX 50 was able to achieve 80-90 percent purity."
 The ability to isolate, purify and manipulate stem cells is extremely important to the success of ABMT, a growing area of cancer therapy. ABMT restores or "rescues" the immune system after the patient has received high doses of radiation or chemotherapy. Rescue is necessary because aggressive radiation and chemotherapy not only destroy tumor cells left in the body, but also destroy the marrow, making the patient highly susceptible to severe infections and uncontrolled bleeding.
 "A process called positive selection enables the oncologist to extract and return to the patient only those cells that will encourage the acceptance of the bone-marrow transplant, while reducing any potential tumor-cell contamination," said Bill Lake, Ph.D., a director of scientific affairs within the Biotech Group. Lake explained that another significant benefit of positive selection may be in allogenic- donor-bone-marrow transplant, where marrow received from a donor is injected in a purified form. In this case, stem-cell selection may be used to rid the body of T-lymphocytes that cause graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD is a significant cause of patient morbidity and mortality.
 In positive-selection procedures using the ISOLEX 50 magnetic-cell- separation system, the monoclonal antibody SCR 9C5 is mixed with a cell suspension to permit binding with "target-cell" (stem-cell) populations. The stem cells are then washed to remove the unbound antibody and are clustered or "rosetted" with magnetic microsphere, called Dynabeads(TM) (Dynabeads are developed and manufactured by Dynal A.S. of Norway). The rosetted target cells are separated from the rest of the cell suspension using a magnetic separator. After the stem cells are washed and separated, the enzyme Chymocell-R(TM) (chymopapain) is introduced to cut the connection between the Dynabeads and the stem cells. The Dynabeads are then separated from the stem cells using a magnetic separator. The resulting stem cells are collected, preserved by freezing and stored until the patient is ready for transplant.
 The University of Chicago will be the first research center in the United States to use this system. Baxter plans to market the system for clinical use worldwide beginning in 1996.
 Separately, the Biotech Group is conducting a pilot study of its CD34-selection technology at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. The study's first patient, a 3-year-old boy with abdominal cancer, has returned home from the hospital and remains tumor-free after 60 days of follow-up.
 The Immunotherapy Division of Baxter's Biotech Group, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is a major supplier of cell-separation and stem-cell technologies for transfusion medicine. The division's research and development program concentrates on the use of monoclonal antibodies and innovative technologies to enhance the human immune system to fight and cure disease. The Biotech Group is working collaboratively with strategic partners to develop curative therapies in the area of cancer, blood therapy and genetic disorders.
 Baxter Healthcare Corp. is the principal domestic operating subsidiary of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX). Through its subsidiaries, Baxter is the leading manufacturer and marketer of health- care products, systems and services worldwide. It offers 120,000 products to health-care providers in 100 countries.
 -0- 6/3/93
 /CONTACT: Alan Smith, Ph.D., of Baxter, 714-553-5130; or Mary Curtin, 212-685-1900, for Baxter/
 (BAX)


CO: Baxter Healthcare Corp. ST: California IN: HEA SU:

CK -- NY052 -- 4947 06/03/93 11:42 EDT
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Date:Jun 3, 1993
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