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Japanese Multicenter Study of Meridian HpSA -- Stomach Ulcers -- Test Supports Usefulness in Diagnosing Pediatric Infections
CINCINNATI, Mar 24, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Meridian Bioscience, Inc., (Nasdaq:VIVO) today announced the publication, in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, of an important multicenter clinical study of Meridian's Premier Platinum HpSA(R) Test (HpSA) conducted in leading childrens' hospitals in Japan. The study, performed by the Japanese Pediatric HpSA Study Group, was designed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of Meridian's HpSA test in Japanese children. Based upon the results of this study, the authors concluded that the HpSA test is an accurate test for the detection of H. pylori infection in all age groups of children. (American Journal of Gastroenterology 2003; 98: 296-300 (C) 2003 by American College of Gastroenterology).

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infection has been associated with peptic ulcer disease since the early 1980s and it is estimated that over one-half of the world's population is infected with H. pylori. Since that time, H. pylori has also been associated with chronic gastritis and gastric cancer. More recent studies are investigating this bacterium's role in conditions such as iron deficiency anemia, physiologic development, and allergic reactions. In the U.S. alone, the annual costs of peptic ulcer disease exceed $6 billion.

The Premier Platinum HpSA Test, developed by Meridian Bioscience, is economical and easy to perform and was designed to expand physician and patient access to H. pylori testing. This diagnostic test, used in conjunction with cost-efficient eradication therapies, enables better patient management and improved cost efficiency for healthcare systems worldwide.

Commenting, John A. Kraeutler, President and Chief Operating Officer stated, "We are pleased that our patented Premier HpSA Test continues to be accepted worldwide as the test of choice for accurate and rapid diagnosis of H. pylori infection. We would like to offer our appreciation to the authors of this important publication for their high-quality research and to the medical professionals that continue to examine the relationship of H. pylori infection in acute and chronic diseases."

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.

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

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