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Meridian Bioscience Awarded New Rubella Patent

January 27, 2004 at 11:10 AM EST

CINCINNATI, Jan 27, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Meridian Bioscience, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio (Nasdaq:VIVO) today announced that Viral Antigens, Inc. (VAI), a wholly owned life science subsidiary, received a patent entitled "Improved Specificity in the Detection of Anti-Rubella IgM Antibodies" from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This patent encompasses improved methods for detection of anti-rubella IgM antibodies in commercial diagnostic products, utilized to test blood samples for the presence of rubella antibodies. VAI is a leading supplier of purified virus proteins that are used by clinical diagnostic test manufacturers. The allowance of this patent (Patent No. 6,670,117) further strengthens VAI's intellectual property position.

Rubella viral infection (German Measles) is typically a mild and self-limited disease that is most often contracted during childhood. Primary rubella infection in adults is less common, and may have very serious consequences in pregnant women. Infection of a fetus during the first trimester of pregnancy may result in spontaneous abortion or severe fetal abnormalities. Because of the fetal risk associated with primary maternal rubella infection, blood samples from pregnant women are routinely tested for the presence of anti-rubella IgM antibodies during the first trimester of pregnancy.

For those diagnostic tests that use VAI's technology for detection of anti-rubella IgM antibodies, the number of false positive test results will be reduced thereby providing more accurate information for the physician to correctly manage the patient's disease. This increased accuracy will result in more reliable patient counseling and treatment, potentially reducing the number and cost of unnecessary medical procedures while improving overall patient care.

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 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.

SOURCE: Meridian Bioscience, Inc.

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