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29 APRIL, 2005

Roche Diagnostics and bioMérieux announce that Roche has granted non exclusive rights for cardiac markers NT-proBNP to bioMérieux

Marcy l’Etoile, France - April 29, 2005. Roche Diagnostics and bioMérieux announced today, that bioMérieux has been granted a nonexclusive license agreement under the patent rights of Roche Diagnostics relating to the development, manufacturing and marketing of immunoassays that detect a key cardiac marker of congestive heart failure and acute coronary syndrome.

Agreement expands availability of cardiovascular marker that aids in diagnosis of heart failure and risk stratification of patients with acute coronary syndrome, heart failure and at cardiovascular risk.

“We have very high confidence into this marker, especially as a recent study(1) found NT-proBNP superior to BNP for the diagnosis of heart failure in patients with preserved left ventricular function,” said Heino von Prondzynski, CEO of Division Roche Diagnostics and Member of the Executive Committee. “bioMérieux is an important partner as it will give as many patients as possible access to this key cardiac marker and because the company holds a significant position in the field of cardio-vascular diseases”.

“We are pleased to move forward with the development of this assay", added Mr Benoît Adelus, Executive Vice President of bioMérieux, "NT-proBNP is an important tool for the management of patients with Congestive Heart Failure. It will also be a key complement to our Cardiovascular Emergency panel which already includes Cardiac markers as well VIDAS D-Dimer ExclusionTM".

Today, Cardiovascular Diseases represent a major health issue frequently found in all populations ; its associated economic burden is expected to continue to rise in the coming years because of the worldwide aging population and the increased survival rate from acute coronary events.

NT-proBNP is a proven cardiac marker for the risk stratification of patients at cardiovascular risk and in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). A recent study(2), published in the February 17, 2005 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that the marker is also a valuable tool for risk stratification of patients with stable coronary heart disease and demonstrates the high importance of NT-proBNP as a prognostic marker across the entire spectrum of cardiovascular diseases. Another recent study provides results, which may favor NT-proBNP over BNP for the diagnosis of acute heart failure in overweight and obese patients(3).

NT-proBNP testing is cost-effective and could lead to important cost-savings. This was shown lately by U. Siebert(4), the Director of the Program on Cardiovascular Research at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is secreted primarily by the left ventricle when the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently. NT-proBNP provides objective diagnostic information that helps distinguish congestive heart failure (CHF) from other disease states with similar clinical symptoms, for instance lung diseases. It has the potential to detect early stages of CHF in the absence of clinically obvious symptoms. In addition, it can be used for the assessment of prognosis for patients with CHF and acute coronary syndrome. NT-proBNP is cleaved from the precursor peptide proBNP in quantities directly proportional to its biologically active counterpart BNP and in close correlation with the severity of heart failure. The measurement of NT-proBNP is not affected by therapy with Natrecor® (nesiritide), a synthetic form of BNP used in the treatment of heart failure.


  1. O´Donoghue M; Chen A, Baggish A, Anwaruddin S, Krauser DG, Tung R, Januzzi JL, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. NT-proBNP is superior to BNP for the evaluation of patients with dyspnea and non-systolic congestive heart failure: A proBNP investigation of dyspnea in the emergency department (PRIDE) substudy; JACC 2005; Suppl A:45:3:Abstract No. 170
  2. Kragelund C, Grønning B, Køber L, et al. N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and long-term mortality in stable coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med 2005; 352:666-675.
  3. Krauser DG, Lloyd-Jones, DM, Chae CU, Cameron R, Anwaruddin S, Baggish AL, Chen A, Tung R and Januzzi JL, Boston, Massachusetts and Chicago Ill. Effect of body mass index on natriuretic peptide levels in patients with acute congestive heart failure: A proBNP Investigation of Dyspnea in the Emergency Department (PRIDE) substudy; Am Heart J 2005; 149:744-50.
  4. Siebert U, Januzzi JL, Beinfeld MT, Cameron R, Gazelle GS. Institute For Technology Assessment, Massachusetts General Hosp, Harvard Med School, Boston, Massachusetts. Circulation 2004; 110:369 (Suppl III)

About bioMérieux:

bioMérieux is a leading international diagnostics group that specializes 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 certain cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers, 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 product or environmental samples.

In 2004, bioMérieux sales reached 931 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 Eurolist by Euronext Paris (symbol “BIM”, ISIN code: FR0010096479).