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KABI INVESTING $7.5 MIL. IN NORTHFIELD LABS

Executive Summary

KABI INVESTING $7.5 MIL. IN NORTHFIELD LABS under an agreement signed March 8. The deal will give the Swedish firm exclusive rights to Northfield's polymerized hemoglobin blood product in markets in Europe and the Middle East. The agreement "provides Kabi with certain exclusive rights for the manufacture and sale of the product in the Nordic countries, Great Britain, West Germany and major markets in the Middle East," the firm said. Kabi estimates the market potential for the blood product in those markets to be in excess of $150 mil. per year. Kabi officials "plan to invest an additional $15 mil. in a new manufacturing plant in the Stockholm area," a same day press release says. In the U.S., Northfield Labs recently began a second round of Phase I trials for the hemoglobin-based red cell substitute. The Evanston, Illinois-based company has said that its blood-derived product has the same oxygen-carrying capability as blood but holds no risk of viral disease transmission. Compatible with all blood types, the synthetic blood will last over a year without freezing, compared to the 28-42 day shelf life of whole blood, according to the company. A second investor in Northfield Labs is IC Industries, a $4 bil. consumer products company based in Chicago. IC invested $30 mil. in the R&D firm last June in exchange for an 18% equity position.

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