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Meridian Bioscience Targets Biodefense Market by Providing Contract Services for BEI Resources

CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 9, 2005--Meridian Bioscience, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio (NASDAQ:VIVO) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Viral Antigens, Inc. (VAI) has entered the emerging biodefense market by providing contract services for Biodefense and Emerging Infections (BEI) Resources. BEI Resources was established by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to acquire, authenticate, and produce reagents for scientists to carry out basic research and develop improved diagnostic tests, vaccines, and therapies as tools against potential agents of bioterrorism or organisms that cause emerging diseases such as SARS, West Nile Virus, and Lyme Disease. Viral Antigens' expertise is in the areas of process development and manufacturing of research biologicals and biopharmaceuticals. VAI is providing contract services to BEI Resources to manufacture certain research biologicals that will be used by the research community to develop new and improved diagnostic tests, vaccines, and therapies.

Richard Eberly, General Manager, Meridian Life Science commented, "For nearly 30 years Meridian Bioscience has utilized its core technologies to produce diagnostic tests and critical reagents that rapidly diagnose serious infectious diseases. Through our collaboration with BEI, and other government agencies that are working to combat bioterrorism, our capabilities are now being employed to help researchers working in biodefense. We are optimistic that our work with BEI will yield quality research materials for the scientific community that will result in promising diagnostics and therapeutics."

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. Except for historical information, this report contains forward-looking statements which may be identified by words such as "estimates", "anticipates", "projects", "plans", "seeks", "may", "will", "expects", "intends", "believes", "should" and similar expressions or the negative versions thereof and which also may be identified by their context. Such statements are based upon current expectations of the Company and speak only as of the date made. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ, including, without limitation, the following: 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. Changes in the relative strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar can change expected results. 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, and respiratory infections. Meridian diagnostic 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 along with proteins and other biologicals used by biopharmaceutical companies engaged in research for new drugs and vaccines. The Company markets its products to hospitals, reference laboratories, research centers, veterinary testing centers, physician offices and diagnostics manufacturers 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., Cincinnati
John A. Kraeutler, 513-271-3700

SOURCE: Meridian Bioscience, Inc.