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Meridian's E. Coli Toxin Test Granted New Claim

BIOWIRE2K

CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 9, 2003--Meridian Bioscience, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio (Nasdaq:VIVO) today announced that it has been granted FDA clearance to market an additional claim related to its ImmunoCard STAT!(R) E. coli 0157 Plus. This test identifies the most dangerous Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria that can cause severe kidney damage or death, especially in infected children under 5 years of age. This new claim will enable the toxin-producing E. coli 0157 antigens to be detected from the most commonly used collection and transport culture medium, thereby reducing time and labor for the testing laboratory.

The first recognized U.S. outbreak of E. coli 0157 was reported in 1982 and was associated with eating hamburgers from a particular fast-food chain. Since 1982, E. coli 0157 outbreaks have occurred more frequently with approximately 13% of these due to food sources other than beef products. It is now estimated that, among children under 5 years of age, the incidence of infection can be as high as 6 per 100,000. Meridian is, and continues to be, a leading innovator in the field of toxin E. coli identification.

Commenting on the importance of testing for toxin-producing E. coli and the relevance of this new claim, John A. Kraeutler, President and Chief Operating Officer, stated, "We are delighted to add this new FDA cleared claim and to expand the diagnostic options that Meridian offers its laboratory customers for detecting this deadly pathogen. As public health officials now recommend that all suspect human specimens be tested for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Meridian continues it's commitment to provide rapid and easy to use tests for the accurate diagnosis of serious infectious diseases."

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.

CONTACT:
Meridian Bioscience, Inc.
John A. Kraeutler, 513/271-3700