Abbott has begun development of a Tokyo Tanabe drug made from lung surfactant for the treatment of hyaline membrane disease, a life-threatening respiratory disease in premature infants caused by a deficiency of pulmonary surfactant. Under a licensing agreement between the two firms, Abbott's Ross Labs will have exclusive U.S. marketing rights to the drug, with Abbott Internatl. receiving marketing rights in Europe, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. According to a Sept. 6 Abbott release, "human and animal studies conducted by Tokyo Tanabe in Japan indicate that a single dose of replacement surfactant stimulates the production of natural surfactant and significantly improves transfer of oxygen in the blood and reduces reliance on artificial respiration"
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