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25 OCTOBER, 2004

bioMérieux to assess potential of PlasmAcute® Technology for tuberculosis testing

Bergen, Norway - October 25, 2004. Novel Diagnostics ASA and bioMérieux announced today that they have signed an agreement that gives bioMérieux access to patented PlasmAcute® acute phase antibody detection technology for use in the field of tuberculosis detection.

Tuberculosis is a major worldwide problem, claiming between two and three million lives every year, and there is a need to replace the current tests with a high specificity and more sensitive reagent during the early stage of the disease.

Under the agreement, bioMérieux gains the right to evaluate how Novel’s PlasmAcute technology could form the basis for a rapid TB detection test. By disrupting the B-lymphocytes, PlasmAcute technology allows immunological responses to be detected before there is any rise in circulating antibody levels. This means responses can be detected well in advance of standard ELISA-based systems, and even before nucleic acid testing can be used effectively. As PlasmAcute-based assays can be run on standard ELISA automated plate readers, this simplifies the adoption of the technology and removes the need for laboratories to invest in new instrumentation.

Commenting on the agreement, Christian Horn, CEO of Novel Diagnostics ASA, said, “PlasmAcute technology offers diagnostics manufacturers the opportunity to improve the performance of their assays by not only narrowing the time-span between the initial infection and start of a detectable immunological response but also clearly identifying the acute phase of an infection. We are pleased that such a leading player like bioMérieux has shown interest in exploring its capabilities in such a key area as tuberculosis.”

Benoît Adelus, Executive Vice President of bioMérieux added, “When combined with our own expertise in infectious disease and tuberculosis testing, PlasmAcute technology appears to offer us a simple way to further improve the sensitivity and performance of our assays."


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