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THE GRADUATE HOSPITAL SIGNS LICENSE AGREEMENT TO DEVELOP TEST FOR THE EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF EMPHYSEMA

 THE GRADUATE HOSPITAL SIGNS LICENSE AGREEMENT
 TO DEVELOP TEST FOR THE EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF EMPHYSEMA
 PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Graduate Hospital of Philadelphia and DynaGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: DYGN) of Cambridge, Mass., announced today the mutual signing of an exclusive license agreement in which DynaGen will develop a test for the early diagnosis of the lung disease emphysema.
 DynaGen will develop the urine-based diagnostic test based on certain proprietary technology developed at The Graduate Hospital over the past 15 years.
 Graduate, a leading medical research institution affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, also in Philadelphia, has filed both U.S. and foreign patent applications covering the technology. DynaGen, Inc., a biotechnology company founded in 1988, said it anticipates submission of an application to market the proposed test to the U.S Food and Drug Administration by mid-1993.
 Emphysema is an abnormal condition of the lungs in which the walls of the air sacs (alveoli) break down and lead to a decrease in respiratory function and, in severe cases, breathlessness. Emphysema is usually associated with smoking and chronic bronchitis and is aggravated by continuous exposure to smoke. There are approximately 12.6 million cases per year of chronic bronchitis in the United States and more than 2 million patients in the United States suffer from emphysema. The currently used "spirometer test" can only measure decreased lung capacity from advanced stages of emphysema or other pulmonary diseases.
 Just as cholesterol testing is used to predict the future risk of a patient developing heart disease, DynaGen's proposed EmphyDyn(TM) test is intended to be used by physicians to quantitatively detect in urine the unique markers that predict emphysematous changes in the lungs.
 "Graduate's research has found that a lung protein, called elastin, is degraded during emphysema development and characteristic products of elastin breakdown appear in the blood and unine in emphysema patients," explained George Weinbaum, Ph.D., chief of The Graduate Hospital's division of Research in the department of Medicine. Elastin is a necessary structural component of normal lung tissue. The proposed EmphyDyn(TM) test measures the amount of elastin breakdown in a patient's urine using sensitive immunoassay technology.
 Weinbaum collaborated in the research with Umberto Kucich, Ph.D., from Graduate's division of Research, and Joel Rosenbloom, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania.
 "Some cigarette smokers who have otherwise normal lung function already may have increased amounts of the elastin-derived products in their urine," added Weinbaum. "This proposed test will help to detect smokers who are at risk for developing emphysema as opposed to discovering the disease after it has already progressed. This way, they have a chance to stop before the disease starts."
 The proposed EmphyDyn(TM) test will also allow physicians to differentiate early stages of emphysema from asthma. The two diseases often present similar symptoms initially, yet require different treatment methods.
 /delval/
 -0- 8/5/92
 /CONTACT: Olivia Fermano of The Graduate Hospital, 215-893-7552/
 (DYGN) CO: The Graduate Hospital of Philadelphia; DynaGen, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU: LIC


MK-MP -- PH028 -- 7203 08/05/92 15:19 EDT
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Date:Aug 5, 1992
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