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CIBA CORNING TO AUTOMATE TRITON DIAGNOSTICS' CANCER ASSAYS

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

CIBA CORNING TO AUTOMATE TRITON DIAGNOSTICS' CANCER ASSAYS for use with Ciba's ACS:180 automated, random access chemiluminescent immunoassay system. On Jan. 14, Ciba Corning announced that it acquired Triton Diagnostics, whose products include manual, nonisotopic cancer assays. The Triton manual products include tests for c-erbB-2, "an oncogene clinically associated with breast cancer prognosis and treatment," and urinary gonadatropin peptide, which is "potentially useful in the management of ovarian cancer," Ciba Corning says. These tests are sold commercially overseas and for research use in the U.S. In addition to the manual assays for research use, Triton manufactures the MAK-6 monoclonal anti-cytokeratin cocktail. The firm's only FDA-approved product, the MAK-6 distinguishes epithelial tumors from non-epithelial tumors that are similar in histological appearance. The acquisition of the Triton assays will expand Ciba Corning's ongoing effort to develop cancer assays for the automated ACS:180 system. Automated assays under development by Ciba Corning include tests for prostate-specific antigen, alpha-fetoprotein and carcinoembryonic antigen; the firm is marketing some of the products outside the U.S. Ciba Corning maintains that "bringing full automation capability to cancer testing will significantly reduce the laboratory costs associated with these tests." Triton Diagnostics was a subsidiary of Shell Oil; the petrochemical giant had sold off the pharmaceutical and R&D portion of Triton (Triton Biosciences) in 1990, retaining the diagnostics business ("The Gray Sheet" Sept. 24, 1990, In Brief). Renamed by Ciba Corning as Triton Laboratories, the former Shell subsidiary will be operated as "a fully integrated unit" of Ciba Corning. Triton's 47 employees will continue to work at its facility in Alameda, California.
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