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13 MAY, 2004

bioMérieux laboratories grant license to Eppendorf for One Step RT-PCR technology

Marcy l'Etoile, France - May 13, 2004. Eppendorf AG, Germany, and bioMérieux, France, have concluded a non-exclusive licensing agreement for Eppendorf products using bioMérieux's exclusively controlled One Step RT-PCR technology.

Eppendorf receives all the rights for international sales of its kits for RT-PCR that use intellectual property owned by bioMérieux. The agreement includes the option for Eppendorf to manufacture for third parties on an OEM basis in order to further facilitate a wide-spread use of the technology in the scientific and medical research community.

One Step RT-PCR is an advanced diagnostic technology adding significant efficiency to the use of RT-PCR by enabling to conduct the whole procedure in a single vessel, thereby eliminating cumbersome hands-on steps and reducing drastically contamination risks. Such a process is particularly useful for RNA analysis, like siRNA or gene expression analyses.

" In addition to our key proprietary technologies like Boom nucleic acid extraction method recognized as the gold standard of nucleic acid extractions or the NASBA amplification technology, we're pleased to provide this important technology to further enhance patient care and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of PCR testing in the molecular laboratory, " said Dr. Christophe Mérieux Vice-President, R&D, bioMérieux Laboratories.

Both companies are convinced of creating mutual benefits by expanding access of such key technologies amongst clinical diagnostic and research markets and will pursue further opportunities of cooperation.

About bioMérieux Molecular Diagnostics

bioMérieux's rapidly growing molecular diagnostics business provides physicians with critical information based on the early detection of pathogens and subtle changes in patients' genes and chromosomes, allowing for earlier diagnosis, selection of appropriate therapies and monitoring of disease progression. The business includes instruments and reagents used to conduct sophisticated analysis of patient DNA and RNA. In 2001, bioMérieux acquired Organon Teknika Diagnostics and key technologies like the Boom technology recognized as the gold standard of nucleic acid extractions or the NASBA technology, an isothermal and transcriptional nucleic acid amplification method avoiding thermocycling requirements and devoid of DNA amplicons contamination risks. bioMérieux has also acquired exclusive rights to unique human genetics thrombosis markers like Factor V Leiden and Prothrombin and pursues high clinical value screening research programs on infectious diseases, sepsis or cancer.
bioMérieux is an international medical technology company specialized in the field of in vitro diagnostics for clinical and industrial applications. In 2003, bioMérieux’s sales reached 915 million euros.

About Eppendorf

Eppendorf AG is a leading supplier of systems and research tools for the biotechnology industry worldwide with more than 1,700 employees. In 2003, the company achieved sales of 270 million Euro with earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of approx. 36 million Euro.