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NRL SIGNS LICENSING AGREEMENT WITH USAT

 NRL SIGNS LICENSING AGREEMENT WITH USAT
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- On Jan. 24., the Naval Research


Laboratory (NRL) and the U.S. Alcohol Testing of America, Inc. (USAT) (AMEX: AAA) signed a licensing agreement granting USAT an exclusive right to practice patent-pending technology for the detection of drugs of abuse.
 Title 35 of the United States Code, Section 207, authorizes federal agencies to develop cooperative research and development agreements and to license their patents. The license authorizes the licensee to manufacture and market the product.
 The licensed technology, known as the flow immunosensor, uses antibodies in a unique way to isolate drug molecules from the millions of other molecules present in urine or saliva samples. Developed by Anne Kusterbeck and Dr. Frances Ligler, researchers in NRL's Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, the flow immunosensor is a rapid detection system that is designed to improve the efficiency of initial drug screening tests as well as decrease related costs and analysis time.
 According to James Witham, president and chief executive officer of the California-based USAT, "The acquisition of this Navy technology allows USAT to round out its product line and provide testing equipment and devices for both alcohol and other drugs of abuse. We feel that this technology will be effective in the nation's war on drugs. The timing of this agreement is of extreme benefit, as the need for less expensive and more efficient drug testing is rapidly expanding."
 The NRL-developed flow immunosensor uses the ability of antibodies to recognize specific molecules at high sensitivity. Almost any molecule can be detected by antibodies, such as environmental pollutants, drugs of abuse, or toxins. The licensed technology for the NRL flow immunosensor uses drug antibodies (specific to the drug being tested) to detect drugs of abuse. The antibodies are chemically attached to tiny beads contained within a cylinder the size of a pencil eraser. This chemical attachment immobilizes the antibodies, and fluorescently labeled signal molecules, which are structurally similar to the drug, are bound to these immobilized antibodies. Urine or Saliva samples are then introduced into a water stream that flows through the cylinder. If the drug is present, it displaces the signal molecules, causing a fluorescent signal. The level of fluorescence is directly proportional to the amount of the drug contained in the sample. Thus far, test have been successfully conducted using antibodies specific for cocaine and heroin detecting parts-per-billion quantities of either drug in less than one minute.
 Further advantages of the flow immunosensor are it's simplicity, portability, and lox cost of operation.
 -0- 1/27/92
 /CONTACT: J. Schultz of Naval Research Laboratory, 202-767-2541/
 (AAA) CO: U.S. Alcohol Testing of America Inc. ST: California IN: SU: LIC


TS-SM -- NY030 -- 3620 01/27/92 10:14 EST
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Date:Jan 27, 1992
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