Meridian Announces First Manufacturing Agreement for Its New Life Science Production Facility and Names Richard Eberly Head of Newly Established Life Science Business Unit
CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 9, 2003--Meridian Bioscience, Inc., (Nasdaq:VIVO) today announced that it has signed its first manufacturing agreement for the Company's new cGMP life science production facility located at Viral Antigens, Inc., Memphis, TN (VAI), a wholly owned subsidiary. Under the terms of the agreement, VAI will optimize manufacturing processes and produce a specific insect cell-derived recombinant protein for its contract partner. This recombinant protein will be VAI's initial project for its new cGMP facility. VAI is currently negotiating with several additional biopharmaceutical companies for the production of recombinant proteins and antibodies for use in therapeutic agents and vaccines.
Also announced was the launch of Meridian Life Science, a strategic unit that will combine the Company's technological capabilities channels to better enable the research, development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and clinical diagnostics. Richard L. Eberly has been named General Manager of Meridian Life Science. Eberly, 42, joined Meridian in 1995 and also serves as Executive Vice President of Meridian Bioscience, Inc. He has more than 16 years of commercial experience in business development, operations, sales and marketing.
As General Manager, Mr. Eberly will provide strategic leadership to the Meridian Life Science business unit and will have responsibility for the Company's BIODESIGN and Viral Antigens subsidiaries and in furthering Meridian's position in the rapidly growing life science market. During February of this year, Meridian expanded its life science capabilities in research and development by naming Dr. K. John Morrow, Jr. as its Director of Biological Sciences. Dr. Morrow's current research and expertise in the area of genetically engineered antibodies adds a valuable scientific capability in early stage drug and vaccine development arenas.
John A Kraeutler, President and Chief Operating Officer stated, "This first recombinant protein manufacturing agreement is an important milestone towards Meridian's stated goal of expanding its presence and capabilities in enabling the development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and new diagnostic methods. I am delighted to announce Rick Eberly's new role in leading this effort and I look forward to additional important news regarding our life science business in the future."
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor from civil litigation for forward looking statements accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements. These statements identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those that might be projected. Meridian's continued growth depends, in part, on its ability to introduce into the marketplace enhancements of existing products or new products that incorporate technological advances, meet customer requirements and respond to products developed by Meridian's competition. While Meridian has introduced a number of internally-developed products, there can be no assurance that it will be successful in the future in introducing such products on a timely basis. Ongoing consolidations of reference laboratories and formation of multi-hospital alliances may cause adverse changes to pricing and distribution. Costs and difficulties in complying with laws and regulations administered by the United States Food and Drug Administration can result in unanticipated expenses and delays and interruptions to the sale of new and existing products. One of Meridian's main growth strategies is the acquisition of companies and product lines. There can be no assurance that additional acquisitions will be consummated or that, if consummated, will be successful and the acquired businesses successfully integrated into Meridian's operations.
Meridian is a fully integrated life science company that manufactures, markets and distributes a broad range of innovative diagnostic test kits, purified reagents and related products and offers biopharmaceutical enabling technologies. Utilizing a variety of methods, these products provide accuracy, simplicity and speed in the early diagnosis and treatment of common medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal, viral, urinary and respiratory infections. All Meridian products are used outside of the human body and require little or no special equipment. The Company's products are designed to enhance patient well-being while reducing the total outcome costs of healthcare. Meridian has strong market positions in the areas of gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections, serology, parasitology and fungal disease diagnosis. In addition, Meridian is a supplier of rare reagents and specialty biologicals. The Company markets its products to hospitals, reference laboratories, research centers, veterinary testing centers and physician offices in more than 60 countries around the world. The Company's shares are traded through Nasdaq's National Market, symbol VIVO. Meridian's website address is www.meridianbioscience.com.
Meridian Bioscience, Inc.
John A. Kraeutler, 513/271-3700
SOURCE: Meridian Bioscience, Inc.