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ROPAK LABORATORIES SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH WORLD'S EIGHTH-LARGEST CHEMICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY

 ROPAK LABORATORIES SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH WORLD'S EIGHTH-LARGEST
 CHEMICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY
 IRVINE, Calif., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Ropak Laboratories (NASDAQ: RPKL) announced today that it has signed a scientific collaboration agreement with the American subsidiary of Rhone-Poulenc S.A., the world's eighth-largest chemical and pharmaceutical company and a major supplier of mild surfactants to the cosmetic industry. Rhone- Poulenc's Surfactants and Specialties division will immediately begin using Ropak's EYTEX(R) and SKINTEX(TM) methods to measure the irritancy and toxicity of its current surfactant products and in the joint development of low irritation surfactant protocols.
 Rhone-Poulenc Inc., the American subsidiary of Rhone-Poulenc S.A., is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of agriculture products, basic and specialty chemicals. Rhone-Poulenc employs 86,000 people worldwide with an annual revenue of $15.8 billion. In the United States, the company has more than 100 facilities and employs 8,500 people with annual sales in excess of $2 billion.
 "The adoption of Ropak's innovative in vitro methods will help us formulate advanced surfactants and extend our leadership position," said Jim Manier, Rhone-Poulenc's business unit director for Surfactant and Specialties.
 Ropak's EYTEX and SKINTEX assays are scientifically based on sub-cellular, physio-chemical models and have been validated by major companies worldwide. These proprietary tests are used to evaluate the potential irritation to humans posed by a wide variety of chemicals and compounds found in cosmetics, household goods and industrial products.
 The EYTEX and SKINTEX assays have consistently demonstrated the capability to accurately predict ocular and dermal irritancy, with an error rate of only 7 to 10 percent and provide a cost effective, rapid and consistent in vitro alternative to animal testing, enabling manufacturers to screen new materials and product formulations to assess their safety and efficacy evaluation. The Draize Tests, which use live rabbits, however, have an error rate as high as 40 percent and are considered too costly and time consuming to use for optimizing product formulations.
 "This collaborative agreement represents Ropak's continuing commitment to refine and expand our core in vitro technology to better serve the growing needs of our customers worldwide," said William Fisher, Ropak's president and chief operating officer. "We will continue to selectively expand into markets where advanced in vitro technologies provide user value."
 The company also markets throughout North and South America, Europe and the Pacific Rim, and has staff operations in Paris and Tokyo. The company's stock is traded Over-the-Counter and is traded by approximately 14 market makers. Ropak recently announced the intent to change its name to InVitro International pending approval from its shareholders.
 -0- 3/4/92
 /CONTACT: Fran Daniels of Financial Sciences of America, 310-278-4413, for Ropak Laboratories/
 (RPKL) CO: Ropak Laboratories; Rhone-Poulenc Inc. ST: California IN: CHM MTC SU:


KJ-JL -- LA007 -- 4809 03/04/92 09:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 4, 1992
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