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LABARGE ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH VENISECT

 ST. LOUIS, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- LaBarge Inc. (AMEX: LB) today announced that it has reached an Agreement with Venisect Inc. of Little Rock, Ark. for LaBarge to develop and manufacture a new, patented medical laser device.
 The device, known as a blood laser perforator, provides a method of puncturing the skin, for the purpose of drawing blood, without the use of a sharp instrument such as a needle stick or a lancet. This eliminates the potential for injury to health care workers caused by handling sharp instruments contaminated with blood-born diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B. Other advantages over the traditional methods are: (1) the procedure is virtually painless; and (2) over the life of the instrument, the laser perforator is significantly less expensive.
 The device works on the same principle now commonly employed in laser surgeries involving the eye. Using a controlled, intense light flash, the device creates a laser beam that is focused to a small spot, typically on the patient's fingertip, targeted for puncture. The resulting perforation is large enough for sufficient bleeding to occur so that about 1.0 milliliter of whole blood can be collected. This is sufficient for most common blood tests including Complete Blood Count, Serum Glucose and Serum Electrolytes. The perforation then heals in the normal fashion.
 In addition to its application in the drawing of blood, future plans for the device include immunization, allergy testing and transdermal drug administration.
 LaBarge is developing the device at its Tulsa, Okla. facility, while production will be at its facility in Huntsville, Ark. It is not known how many people will ultimately be employed on the project.
 Venisect Chairman Charles H. Vestal, commented, "The traditional method of puncturing the skin with a lancet or needle creates anxiety and stress for many patients, while also presenting significant health care risks. This new product is virtually painless and eliminates the risk to health care workers.
 "LaBarge is currently developing the device. We expect to begin clinical trials within the next 45 days. If all goes according to plan we will be shipping production units in approximately nine to 12 months."
 Craig E. LaBarge, chief executive officer and president of LaBarge commented, "We believe the future potential for this product will be significant and we are very pleased to be involved in the project. We are in the early stages but, thus far, the development effort is proceeding quite smoothly. We are pushing the state of the art in developing a portable, battery operated medical laser. The knowledge we gain through this project is expected to generate other opportunities."
 -0- 10/7/93
 /CONTACT: LaBarge, 314-231-5960/
 (LB)


CO: LaBarge Inc.; Venisect Inc. ST: Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma IN: MTC SU: TNM

BB -- DV004 -- 9711 10/07/93 11:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 7, 1993
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