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Meridian Bioscience Enters Strategic Collaboration With Viral Therapeutics

June 3, 2004 at 10:27 AM EDT

CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 3, 2004--Meridian Bioscience, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio (Nasdaq:VIVO) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Viral Antigens, Inc. (VAI), has entered into a strategic collaboration with Viral Therapeutics, Inc. (VTI), Ithaca, NY, to support the clinical and commercial development needs of biopharmaceutical partners. Viral Therapeutics is an expert in the development of recombinant proteins and in production optimization. Viral Antigens' expertise is in the areas of process development and clinical stage manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. The companies are coordinating their marketing efforts to provide a wider range of biopharmaceutical enabling technologies to better service their clients in the development and production of recombinant proteins, therapeutic antibodies, and vaccines.

The combined resources of VAI and VTI will provide biopharmaceutical customers improved access to specialized service and expertise in gene cloning, cell-line development in bacterial, insect, mammalian and yeast cells, cell culture, fermentation, and purification process development, and scale-up leading to production of proteins in accordance with cGMP, the standards established by good manufacturing practices for the pharmaceutical industry. VAI and VTI will also provide proven experience and expertise in advanced expression, fermentation, and purification technologies that enable process optimization for difficult-to-express proteins.

Richard L. Eberly, General Manager, Meridian Life Science commented, "We are excited that the combination of resources between VAI and VTI will provide our biopharmaceutical partners the ability to progress from discovery to clinical and commercial development in a more efficient and expedient manner. With current biopharmaceutical industry projections estimating 350-500 drug candidates in development, our goal is to provide high quality and reliable outsourcing capabilities to our industry partners."

Lee Henderson, Ph.D., CEO of Viral Therapeutics, Inc., commented, "We are pleased to have developed this relationship with Viral Antigens, Inc. and believe that our combined expertise and technology offerings will provide a wide breadth of services for our current and future clients. We expect our combined years of experience, expertise, and technology to improve the cost effectiveness and turn-around time for biopharmaceutical development."

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.

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

SOURCE: Meridian Bioscience, Inc.