Abbott and BioGenex Enter Agreement for Automated Molecular Diagnostics System

Oct 19, 2004, 01:00 ET from Abbott

    ABBOTT PARK, Ill., and SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/
 -- Abbott (NYSE:   ABT) and BioGenex Laboratories today announced an agreement
 to distribute and market a new system that will fully automate molecular
 diagnostic tests that employ Abbott's proprietary Fluorescence in situ
 Hybridization (FISH) technology.
     The system is designed to automate all of the assay steps required to
 perform Abbott's FISH-based tests, including the application, removal and
 re-application of the coverslip resulting in a completely finished slide that
 is ready to go directly on the microscope for review.  It is expected to be
 introduced to the market in the near future, pending regulatory clearance.
     "The increasing demand for molecular testing is putting pressure on
 clinical laboratories to process these tests more quickly," said Edward L.
 Michael, president, Abbott Molecular Diagnostics, Abbott.  "By further
 automating our FISH technology, we can help our customers keep up with the
 workflow demands, save labor costs, further enhance test reliability and,
 ultimately, improve patient care."
     "We are pleased that Abbott has elected to distribute our products
 integrated with their FISH applications worldwide," said Krishan Kalra, Ph.D.,
 chairman and CEO, BioGenex.  "This underscores application of BioGenex
 technology for harnessing the power of genomics to accelerate the pace of
 molecular medicine.  Our partnership offers an excellent opportunity to
 co-develop and commercialize workflow solutions for a multitude of diagnostic
     Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott has co-exclusive rights with
 BioGenex to market and distribute the new system worldwide in the FISH field.
 Abbott and BioGenex will collaborate to further develop automated solutions
 for FISH applications.  As part of the agreement, BioGenex has received a
 multi-year minimum volume commitment and an upfront payment toward future
 purchases of systems.
     About FISH
     FISH technology provides the ability to see multiple chromosomal
 abnormalities simultaneously in a single cell and to visually assess these
 genetic abnormalities in patient specimens.  FISH-based tests use DNA probes
 labeled with colored fluorescent tags that bind to specific gene sequences on
 human chromosomes.  These probes can reveal amplification of gene copy number
 or the rearrangement of large genetic structures, two genetic abnormalities
 that underlie certain cancers and other medical conditions.  Abbott's
 FISH-based tests include PathVysion(R), which is used to detect amplification
 of the HER-2 gene and as an aid in determining whether a patient is an
 appropriate candidate for Herceptin(R) (trastuzumab) therapy for breast
 cancer, and Vysis UroVysion(R), for monitoring for the recurrence of bladder
     About BioGenex
     BioGenex, a technology leader in molecular pathology, provides Total
 Solution for complete automation of cell and tissue testing.  The company
 offers a broad range of reagents and systems to streamline and standardize
 cellular and molecular diagnostics.  BioGenex's products are designed for high
 throughput at a low cost of ownership, providing ease of use and maximum
 flexibility for clinical diagnostics, life science research, and drug
     BioGenex's news releases and other information are available at .
     About Abbott Molecular Diagnostics
     Abbott's rapidly growing molecular diagnostics business provides
 physicians with critical information based on the early detection of pathogens
 and subtle changes in patients' genes and chromosomes, allowing for earlier
 diagnosis, selection of appropriate therapies and monitoring of disease
 progression.  The business includes instruments and reagents used to conduct
 sophisticated analysis of patient DNA and RNA.
     About Abbott
     Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the
 discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and
 medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.  The
 company employs more than 55,000 people and markets its products in more than
 130 countries.
     Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the
 company's Web site at .