Shield heart attack test moves closer

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Reuter / Jonathan Birt

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
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<I><A HREF='http://www.clari.net/'>ClariNet</A> <CLARI-ITEM TYPE>story</CLARI-ITEM> <B><CLARI-ITEM SLUGWORD>BRITAIN-SHIELD</CLARI-ITEM></B> from <CLARI-ITEM FROM>Reuter / Jonathan Birt</CLARI-ITEM></I><BR>
<H1><CLARI-ITEM HEADLINE>Shield heart attack test moves closer</CLARI-ITEM></H1>
<I><B><CLARI-ITEM COPYRIGHT>Copyright 1997 by Reuters</CLARI-ITEM></B></I> / <I><CLARI-ITEM DATE>Mon, 24 Mar 1997 12:41:12 PST</CLARI-ITEM></I><P>
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<P> LONDON, March 24 (Reuter) - Tiny Scottish research company
Shield Diagnostics Plc said on Monday it had moved closer to
marketing a potentially world-beating test for predicting heart
attacks and coronary heart disease.</P>
<P> Shield said studies showed that patients with coronary heart
disease had 30 percent higher levels of a key clotting agent,
Activated Factor Twelve (AFT), in their blood than healthy
people.</P>
<P> Dundee-based Shield has developed the only known test for
AFT, the first element in a cascade of reactions in the blood
which can eventually result in heart attacks and heart disease.</P>
<P> It believes this will prove a much more accurate indicator
of both conditions than the 500 million pounds worth of
cholesterol tests taken every year.</P>
<P> Shares in Shield closed 40 pence higher at 690 pence, to
show a net gain of 393 percent since the start of the year.</P>
<P> However, they continued to trade below the all-time peak of
928 pence reached just before news of problems with a
patient-monitoring trial in the United States unnerved some
investors on March 14.</P>
<P> The company says problems with the U.S. trial, which has
monitored incidence of heart atacks in 16,000 people for more
than a decade, would not affect the timetable for launching a
general screening test and a simple test kit for use in doctor's
surgeries.</P>
<P> Shield said it planned to make the test itself and then
license it out on a semi-exclusive basis to large diagnostic
companies and to drug companies who would use it to promote
their products.</P>
<P> Talks with diagnostics companies, believed to include Abbott
Laboratories Inc , are already under way.</P>
<P> Shield declined to predict sales for the test but said it
could save health services and insurers hundreds of millions of
pounds a year through earlier detection and prevention.</P>
<P> Chief executive officer Gordon Hall said caring for patients
with cardiac disase in the United States alone cost $151 billion
a year, including $118 billion on hospital care.</P>
<P> ``Any process than can reduce this figure must be highly
attractive to healthcare providers ...if five percent of cases
were detected earlier and prevented, then over $7.5 billion
could be saved,'' Hall said.</P>
<P> For now Shield is more than content to have its eye not just
on the 500 million pound annual cholesterol test market but on a
further 380 million pounds spent on other tests related to
cardiovascular disease.</P>
<P> Yamaichi International analyst Erling Refsum, a
long-standing supporter of Shield, said he calculates that every
one percent gain in Shield's share of the cholesterol testing
market is worth 60 million pounds on its market capitalization.
Even after its price surge this year, the group is worth around
130 million pounds.</P>
<P> However, Shield continued to try to dampen more feverish
expectations about the test's prospects on Monday.</P>
<P> ``All we can say is that if you have high AFT, you are a high
risk (of a heart attack),'' said technical director Peter Foster.
``We can't say that if you have low AFT there is no risk -- there
may be other reasons (for a heart attack).''</P>
<P> Shield's caution may also stem from press and market
criticism in recent week of the way it has handled news about
the product.</P>
<P> One industry specialist said many investors had not been
getting a straight story on the AFT test, leading to the share's
underperformance last year.</P>
<P> The company ran into trouble in January when it published a
newsletter on AFT which was not initially sent to the stock
exchange. The newsletter sparked a sharp rise in the group's
share price.</P>
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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
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<I><A HREF='http://www.clari.net/'>ClariNet</A> <CLARI-ITEM TYPE>story</CLARI-ITEM> <B><CLARI-ITEM SLUGWORD>HEALTH-SHIELD</CLARI-ITEM></B> from <CLARI-ITEM FROM>Reuters</CLARI-ITEM></I><BR>

<H1><CLARI-ITEM HEADLINE>Shield heart attack test moves closer</CLARI-ITEM></H1>
<I><B><CLARI-ITEM COPYRIGHT>Copyright 1997 by Reuters</CLARI-ITEM></B></I> / <I><CLARI-ITEM DATE>Mon, 24 Mar 1997 16:01:10 PST</CLARI-ITEM></I><P>
</CLARI-ITEM HEADER>
<CLARI-ITEM STORY>
<P> LONDON (Reuter) - Tiny Scottish research company Shield
Diagnostics Plc said Monday it has moved closer to marketing a

test for predicting heart attacks and coronary heart disease.</P>
<P> Shield said studies showed that patients with coronary heart
disease had 30 percent higher levels of a key clotting agent,
Activated Factor Twelve (AFT), in their blood than healthy
people.</P>
<P> Dundee, Scottland-based Shield has developed the only known

test for AFT, the first element in a cascade of reactions in the
blood that can eventually result in heart attacks and heart

disease.</P>
<P> It believes this will prove a much more accurate indicator
of both conditions than currently available cholesterol tests.</P>

<P> The company says problems with the U.S. trial, which has
monitored incidence of heart atacks in 16,000 people for more
than a decade, would not affect the timetable for launching a
general screening test and a simple test kit for use in doctor's
offices.</P>

<P> Shield said it planned to make the test itself and then
license it on a semi-exclusive basis to large diagnostic
companies and to drug companies that would use it to promote

their products.</P>
<P> Talks with diagnostics companies, believed to include Abbott
Laboratories Inc., are already under way.</P>

<P> Shield declined to predict sales for the test but said it
could save health services and insurers hundreds of millions of
dollars a year through earlier detection and prevention.</P>
<P> Chief Executive Officer Gordon Hall said caring for patients

with cardiac disase in the United States alone cost $151 billion
a year, including $118 billion on hospital care.</P>
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