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11 MARCH, 2005

Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and bioMerieux join resources to fight emerging pathogens

Marcy l'Etoile, France - March 11, 2005. The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and bioMérieux announce that they have signed a strategic teaming agreement, aiming at initiating R&D projects in the fields of emerging pathogens. The aim of the project, signed on March 10th, is the creation of a joint Research Lab in Beijing, interacting with Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

To initiate their strategic teaming agreement, the Chinese Academy of Medical Science (CAMS) and bioMérieux have decided to create a joint research unit to identify emerging pathogens. Emerging pathogens are threatening the health of human beings and impairing the development of the world economy; it is now admitted that new viral agents exist and these are probably involved in multiple clinical pathologies such as pneumopathies, encephalitis, hemorrhagic fevers and liver cancer. To some extent, it may cause the breakout and spread of major epidemics. To face this challenge, CAMS and bioMérieux have decided to combine their efforts to identify new viral disease vectors and viral agents in order to prevent epidemics, and to provide scientific diagnosis and treatment to patients. bioMérieux has already initiated an intensive research strategy in the field of emerging pathogens identification, and built around an international network of collaborations.

Combat against major epidemics undermining people’s health is the common duties for the global medical science circle; to promote the fast development of researches in medical science, it is the general trend to transcend the national boundaries and strengthen international exchanges and cooperation. CAMS, as a national medical science research center, boasts of an excellent research team, systematic research network and certain research platform. CAMS hopes that through the power-power cooperation with bioMérieux, improvement and breakthroughs will be scored on the detection and identification of emerging pathogens and the diagnosis, prevention, treatment techniques and methods in order to facilitate the in-depth research in the filed of pathogen biology and contribute to the development of medical sciences and human health.

“The teaming agreement between the CAMS and bioMerieux is the first agreement of its kind with this highly reputed Chinese Academic Research Institute, opening the way for intensive collaboration in the future. It is a strategic investment and a commitment for the development of our company in China.” explains Dr. Christophe Mérieux, Senior Corporate Vice President, Research & Development and Medical Affairs at bioMerieux.

The proposed scope of the scientific program is to first concentrate on the discovery of new viral pathogens, whereby the joint research unit should identify and characterize new infectious agents among patients supposedly infected by an unknown respiratory disease. Under the terms of the agreement, this joint unit will perform molecular biology research based on samples provided by the CAMS hospital network. bioMérieux will provide the joint unit with research expertise, laboratory equipment such as Nuclisens EasyQ system and NASBA amplification technology, specialized training as well as support to lab operations. CAMS will provide equipment, space, technical personnel and related support. The joint research unit will be operational as of June 2005.

About CAMS

Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences is the only national medical science academic center and comprehensive science research institute. Under the joint management of CAMS and the college, there are 18 research institutes (and 2 subdivisions), 5 academies, 7 clinical hospitals (including Tiantan Hospital jointly built with Beijing’s local authority) and 5 subsidiary hospitals. Six branch hospitals, including Beijing Union Medical College Hospital, Fuwai Cardiovascular Hospital, Ontology Hospital, Orthopedics Hospital, Hematopathy Hospital and Dermatopathy Hospital, are reputed medical service providers integrating medical service, education and scientific research. CAMS has gathered a team of renowned experts and professors with rich experience, high academic level and outstanding contributions in the medical science field. At present, 10 academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 15 academicians of Chinese Academy of Engineering (including one member of both academies), 62 young outstanding experts with national or ministerial certification, and 5 professors on Cheung Kong Scholars Program are working with the academy and the medical school. In addition, the Pathogen Biology Institute is a newly-built national scientific research unit responsible for important national programs on pathogen biology. It is committed to the basic and applied research on antigen microbes like viruses, bacteria, epiphyte and vermin. Its research priority is basic prevention and treatment technology for emerging epidemics and AIDS. At the same, it is engaged in consultation and academic exchanges on bacteria and vermin infected diseases, viral diseases, emerging infectious diseases and development of related diseases with businesses and institutions in all localities both in China and abroad.

For better integration with the world, CAMS attaches great importance to international academic exchanges and scientific collaboration and has formed medical cooperation relations with medical colleges and research institutions in scores of countries (or regions) on scientific research, education and medical services. More than 200 foreign scholars, including the winner of Nobel Physics Award, Mr. Ding Zhaozhong, are awarded the title of honorable professor or guest professor by the Union Medical College.

About bioMérieux

bioMérieux is a leading international diagnostics group that specialises in the field of in vitro diagnostics for clinical and industrial applications. bioMérieux designs, develops, manufactures and markets systems (i.e. reagents, instruments and software) used in:

Clinical applications: the diagnosis of infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis and respiratory illnesses, as well as pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer, based on the analysis of biological samples (such as blood, saliva or urine); and

Industrial applications: the microbiological analysis of food, environments (such as water and air), surfaces and pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, based on the analysis of product or environmental samples.

In 2004, bioMérieux sales reached 930.6 million euros. The company is present in more than 130 countries through 33 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors, which positions the company well to benefit from the growth potential of the in vitro diagnostics market. Some important drivers that underpin this growth are aging populations and age-related illness, illnesses related to life-style and eating habits, emerging new pathogens, the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the fight against bio-terrorism, the recognition of the importance of the quality of food products.

bioMérieux is listed on the Premier Marché of Euronext, Paris (FR0010096479 – BIM).


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