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Meridian Bioscience Awarded Exclusive, Global License for Parvovirus B19 Vaccine from the National Institutes of Health

CINCINNATI, Jul 07, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIVO) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Viral Antigens, Inc. (VAI), Memphis, TN, was awarded the exclusive global license for the recombinant Parvovirus B19 Vaccine technology from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The license provides VAI with the exclusive and global rights to utilize the NIH's patented technology to develop, manufacture, and market the Parvovirus B19 vaccine.

Previously, in October 2003, Meridian was awarded a contract to manufacture clinical grade recombinant protein Parvovirus B19 vaccine for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Vaccine production has taken place at the Company's life science manufacturing facility located at VAI in order to support Phase I/II human clinical trials to be conducted by the NHLBI. Upon successful completion of the Phase I/II clinicals, the NHLBI has plans to conduct Phase III human clinical trials. VAI will be responsible for regulatory requirements including maintenance or renewal of the current Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the recombinant Parvovirus B19 vaccine.

The NIH/NHLBI have a long-standing interest in Parvovirus B19, an important pathogen affecting humans. Parvovirus B19 infection is common among children and adults and is often asymptomatic. Parvovirus B19 infection can result in serious and occasionally fatal hematologic diseases in susceptible patients, and is the cause of "Fifth disease", a highly contagious infection of childhood. In sickle cell disease and other hereditary and acquired hemolytic anemias, acute B19 infection results in transient aplastic crisis, in which hemoglobin levels fall precipitously, anemia becomes life threatening, and congestive heart failure may ensue. Parvovirus B19 can also infect the fetus causing severe anemia, congestive heart failure, and death in utero or at birth.

Richard L. Eberly, General Manager, Meridian Life Science, commented, "We are pleased to have expanded our collaboration with the NIH to include the global license for the Parvovirus B19 vaccine. The combination of VAI's scientific and technical capabilities with NIH's proprietary technology and clinical research expertise will hopefully lead to an important and much needed vaccine for the prevention of disease caused by parvovirus infections. With the awarding of the exclusive global license, Meridian has begun seeking commercial partners interested in developing the global pharmaceutical market of the Parvovirus B19 vaccine."

Dr. Preston Dorsett, Vice President of Science and Technology, Viral Antigens, Inc., commented, "The manufacturing process uses recombinant protein technology to generate non-infectious parvovirus B19 viral particles for use in the vaccine. VAI is developing processes at a scale sufficient for commercialization of the vaccine."

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

SOURCE: Meridian Bioscience, Inc.

Meridian Bioscience, Inc., Cincinnati
John A. Kraeutler, 513-271-3700