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SPECTRX/ABBOTT TO DEVELOP CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITOR.

SpectRx, Inc., (Nasdaq:SPRX) has announced that Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has purchased $2.5 million in convertible redeemable preferred stock, completing the purchase of $5.25 million in convertible redeemable preferred stock as part of an agreement to jointly develop a continuous glucose monitor for people with diabetes.

Based on SpectRx's biophotonic technology, the continuous glucose monitoring sensor, worn on top of the skin, offers the promise of allowing people with diabetes to continuously monitor their glucose levels without the pain and inconvenience of finger stick blood tests or implanting a sensor. Prototypes of the device have shown the capability of providing readings once a minute.

Under the agreement, Abbott has exclusive worldwide marketing rights to continuous monitoring as well as single-use monitoring applications of the technology. The agreement includes revised milestones, and cooperative research and development focused initially on continuous glucose monitoring. SpectRx will receive a royalty on sales of disposables and have the option to manufacture continuous monitoring devices for Abbott.

"Our continuous glucose monitoring technology is designed to replace finger stick blood tests, not be adjunctive," said Mark A. Samuels, SpectRx chairman and CEO. "We believe that providing multiple readings per hour without the burden of a finger stick will be of great benefit to people with diabetes."

The SpectRx technology measures glucose levels in interstitial fluid (ISF). The ISF is collected through an array of micropores created with a laser in the stratum corneum, the dead outer layer of skin, and measured in a patch containing a glucose sensor. A study conducted by SpectRx, and presented at the 1999 American Diabetes Association meeting, with 20 diabetics wearing the continuous monitoring system showed a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.90, when compared to a finger stick method, over a glucose range of 60 to 400 mg/dL.

Blood glucose levels are a measure of an individual's health status. Because people with diabetes cannot properly metabolize glucose, they must frequently monitor their glucose levels by pricking their fingertips to draw the drop of blood necessary for conventional glucose monitoring. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that diabetes affects more than 150 million people worldwide. Complications from diabetes include kidney disease, blindness and increased risk of heart disease. The yearly worldwide market for glucose testing is estimated at $3 billion and is growing at an annual rate of 12 to 18 percent.

SpectRx, Inc. is a leading biophotonics company that develops and manufactures painless and bloodless alternatives to medical diagnostic and monitoring procedures. For more information, call 770/242-8723.
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Comment:SPECTRX/ABBOTT TO DEVELOP CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITOR.
Publication:Biotech Equipment Update
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2000
Words:420
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