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Abbott says it's awaiting U.S. approval for mad cow test
  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories Inc. on Wednesday said it asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture in October to approve its test for mad cow disease.
The healthcare company, which is based in suburban Chicago, already sells the test in 12 countries, including the United Kingdom and Japan where the disease has been confirmed in cattle. Company officials told Reuters they believe the first presumed case of the disease in the United States, in a dairy cow from Washington state, will increase interest by USDA in its test.
Abbott has exclusive rights to sell the test, which was developed by privately held Enfer Scientific of Ireland, in all countries except Ireland. It examines the brain tissue of dead cattle for signs of abnormal proteins called prions that are believed to cause the disease.
No mad cow tests are currently approved in the United States.
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