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OncoVista Subsidiary Grants Option to License Proprietary Antibodies to KellBenx Inc


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AdnaGen AG, a subsidiary of OncoVista Innovative Therapies, Inc. , a high-growth global biotech company developing proprietary, early detection and drug technologies to enable safe, targeted personal cancer treatments, today announced that it has entered into an option agreement to license specific antibodies to KellBenx Inc., a New York-based private biotech firm.

“Our agreement with AdnaGen is exciting because for the first time we have an antibody specific enough to detect fetal cells in maternal blood to allow noninvasive prenatal testing”

KellBenx focuses on the development of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPDXTM) for specific genetic and other heritable disorders.

“Our agreement with AdnaGen is exciting because for the first time we have an antibody specific enough to detect fetal cells in maternal blood to allow noninvasive prenatal testing,” said Hassan Bennani, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of KellBenx. “This is a major step towards meeting the demand by pregnant women and their physicians for safer testing for Down syndrome and other genetic disorders. The risks of amniocentesis to the developing fetus are well-known, and our ability to test maternal blood instead of amniotic fluid for the critical genetic markers has the potential to save thousands of pregnancies when we bring the test to market.”

Under the license, KellBenx will secure exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize the antibodies, which enable the extraction of clinically relevant information from maternal blood through a test that could be widely available as early as 2011.

Fetal Nucleated Red Blood Cells (“FNRBC’s”), which have been identified in maternal blood, can be a source for monitoring and diagnosis of maternal, fetal, and neonatal health and disease. The KellBenx process involves the enrichment of FNRBC’s with the antibodies licensed from AdnaGen, namely Monoclonal Antibodies with Specificity for Fetal Erythroid Cells, to perform chromosomal or genetic analysis to identify markers of potential disorders.

“AdnaGen’s ability to assist KellBenx’s proprietary non-invasive prenatal diagnosis detection and diagnostic products further validates our technologies as well as the broad range of our therapeutic applications,” said Alexander L. Weis, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of AdnaGen AG. “While addressing critical medical need significantly assists physicians and the medical system, in the final analysis, it is the patient that derives the greatest benefit. Dr. Bennani and his team share that vision.”
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