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HYBRITECH DIVERSIFYING INTO DNA PROBE TECHNOLOGY VIA GEN-PROBE

Executive Summary

HYBRITECH DIVERSIFYING INTO DNA PROBE TECHNOLOGY VIA GEN-PROBE investment, according to an agreement in principal announced May 10. The newly formed company will focus on developing and commercializing DNA probe technology for infectious disease testing, Hybritech said. The San Diego biotechnology company is investing up to $2 mil. bin equity funding in the start-up firm over an undisclosed period of time, as well as providing management support for the startup. Hybritech expects Gen-Probe's DNA products to be complementary with it own monoclonal antibody testing line, a spokesman said. "Antibodies should be useful for cancer, blood protein, and certain infectious disease testing, and DNA probes will have broad applicability for infectious disease testing," Hybritech President David Hale commented. "Accordingly, we plan to design our testing systems and marketing programs to be compatible with both technical approaches." Gen-Probe expects to file with FDA for 510(k) clearance of its first probe-based test by the end of this year, Hybritech said. Initial test will utilize new technology developed by Dr. David Kohne, a DNA probe "pioneer" from the La Jolla academic community who holds the position of senior scientist at Gen-Probe, Hybritech said. Gen-Probe has filed for a patent on Kohne's work. Other Gen-Probe officers include General Manager Howard Birndorf, who also will continue to work for Hybritech on a consulting basis, and Hybritech Chief Technical Officer Thomas Adams, who will assume the same role at Gen-Probe. Adams will split his time between the two firms, the spokesman said.

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