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MEDICAL : ICN Biomedicals Gets Contract for Kit Aimed at Cutting Retardation

Compiled by Leslie Berkman, Times staff writer

ICN Biomedicals Inc., a Costa Mesa manufacturer of biotechnology research products and medical diagnostic products, has received a $1.1-million contract from the state Department of Health Services to supply a diagnostic product for newborns that helps prevent mental and physical retardation.

The product, the Neonatal T4 Kit, is a blood test being administered to every newborn in the state to detect an abnormally low level of throxine hormone. If the hormone deficiency, known as hypothyroidism, is not treated before the third month of life, it leads to stunted growth and mental retardation known as cretinism.

The Neonatal T4 Kit is manufactured by ICN Micromedics, a subsidiary of ICN Biomedicals, which, in turn, is a unit of ICN Pharmaceuticals.

Earlier, ICN Biomedicals said it had received authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell a new clinical test that can detect marijuana and cocaine in a single urine sample.

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ICN Biomedicals, a unit of ICN Pharmaceuticals, said the kit will be marketed as a cost-saving tool to hospital, forensic and specialty laboratories.

The company also said it has received separate approval from the FDA to market a clinical diagnostic reagent kit to detect morphine in urine samples.


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