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Mission Pharmacal Company Sells Gold Standard Kidney Stone Diagnostic Tests to Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX)


12/6/2007 1:04:53 AM

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Mission Pharmacal, the privately held specialty pharmaceutical company that pioneered the technology behind metabolic evaluations for kidney stone disease, has sold the rights to its line of kidney stone diagnostics to Quest Diagnostics Incorporated . The agreement was completed December 3, 2007. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Products in the diagnostic line, include UroRisk(R) Diagnostic Profile, StoneRisk(R) Diagnostic Profile, StoneTrack Diagnostic Monitoring Test, StoneRisk(R) Citrate Test, and StoneRisk(R) Cystine Tests. These tests are designed to help the physicians diagnose patients who are symptomatic and, among those who previously had a stone, help in periodic evaluations of a patient's propensity to form a stone. The sale was a logical step for Mission as some of the diagnostic profiles have been available to physicians through Quest Diagnostics for a few years.

"We are pleased that the medical community has recognized the excellence of these diagnostic tests. They are the result of Mission's pioneering work in drug development and testing in the field of urology. It has been rewarding to see the contribution these tests have made in the medical management of kidney stones," said Neill Walsdorf, Jr., president of Mission Pharmacal. "We are building on the success of this diagnostic line to further develop some very promising drug therapies which Mission believes will offer new and improved treatments for urolithiasis."

Physicians will have continuity of service and uninterrupted availability of products during the transition. All products sold to Quest Diagnostics will be marketed with the current brand names, quality control, and up-to-date technology as previously sold under Mission Pharmacal. Quest Diagnostics, with its broad nationwide reach, will ensure expanded physician access to the diagnostic tests.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), urolithiasis is common in the United States population and its prevalence is increasing. Kidney stones affect more than one million Americans each year with an estimated 12 to 24 million Americans developing stones during their lifetime. In the United States approximately 350,000 stones from patients are analyzed annually. There is a 50 percent chance of forming another stone in a person's lifetime -- and even greater in persons with multiple risk factors - therefore, people who form stones can begin a prevention program that focuses on controlling the risk factors associated with the disease, thereby reducing the possibility of forming new stones. Risk factors include age, sex, diet, geographic location, systemic and local medical conditions, genetic predisposition and urinary composition.

Kidney stones are solid concretions of various chemicals, i.e. calcium, oxalate, phosphate, uric acid, that accumulate in the kidneys. When one or more of these chemicals accumulates in the kidneys, they form crystals in the urine, which bind together to form a stone. Kidney stones vary greatly in size, and shape. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a dime. Most kidney stones pass by themselves, though large and irregularly- shaped stones may require assistance in passage. Kidney stones are classified by their composition: calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine; the most common of these is calcium oxalate.

There are many reasons kidney stones form: dehydration may cause the urine to become so concentrated that stones form, and some foods contain high amounts of chemical substances that are more likely to form stones. In addition, if a natural occurring inhibitor called citrate is not present in urine in an adequate amount, certain crystals may form leading to stone formation. A genetic predisposition to kidney stones may also increase the risk of stone formation.

About Mission Pharmacal Company

Mission Pharmacal Company is a privately held pharmaceutical company based in San Antonio, Texas. For sixty years, the company has been dedicated to identifying unmet health needs in the marketplace and developing innovative prescription and over-the-counter products to meet them.

CONTACT: Dan Crawford of Mission Pharmacal Company, +1-800-292-7364 x
5223, or dan.crawford@missionpharmacal.com



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