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Ambion, Inc. Signs Armored RNA(R) Licensing Agreement With Cepheid (CPHD)


10/19/2005 5:13:15 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Ambion Diagnostics, a division of Ambion, Inc., announces that it has granted Cepheid non-exclusive worldwide rights to incorporate Armored RNA(R) technology in its products and processes for in vitro molecular diagnostics. Under this agreement, Ambion Diagnostics will manufacture custom reagents for Cepheid in Ambion's cGMP development and manufacturing facility.

"Cepheid will integrate various Armored RNA materials into its proprietary dry-down beads for use with the Cepheid SmartCycler(R) and GeneXpert(R) platforms. These materials will further strengthen Cepheid's ability to design and develop test systems that deliver highly accurate and self-validating diagnostic results in the areas of infectious diseases and oncology," said Bill McMillan, Cepheid's Vice President, Biotechnology.

Armored RNA technology is a novel system jointly invented and developed by Ambion and Cenetron for the packaging of RNA in bacteriophage coat proteins to protect and stabilize RNA. A major application for this technology is the production of RNA controls and standards for viral assays that withstand exposure to ribonucleases and long-term storage in plasma. RNA standards are essential to quantitative molecular diagnostic assays, and maintaining their integrity is crucial to obtaining accurate, reliable results. Ambion Diagnostics has recently released Armored RNA(R) Quant(TM), the next generation of quantitative standards that can be used to construct standard curves for a quantitation of patient samples. Armored RNA Quant contains an accurate copy number of a specific target. The input copy number is referenced to a primary phosphate standard certified by the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST).

"We're pleased Cepheid has chosen to incorporate Armored RNA standards and controls into its molecular diagnostic assays. We believe Cepheid is positioned to have a major impact on the molecular diagnostics field, especially in the bio-defense arena, and this agreement reinforces the continued evolution of Armored RNA standards and controls into an industry standard," said Jeff Williams, General Manager of Ambion Diagnostics.

About Ambion Diagnostics

Ambion Diagnostics (http://www.ambiondx.com/ ), a division of Ambion, Inc., develops, manufactures and markets innovative products to detect diseases and enable the development of pharmaceuticals. It leverages the core technologies and RNA expertise of Ambion's Research Product Division to provide solutions for the clinical and healthcare industries. With a commitment to quality, Ambion Diagnostics is QSR/ISO compliant and FDA registered.

About Cepheid

Cepheid, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of fully integrated systems that enable genetic assessment when and where it is needed. Founded in 1996, the company is commercializing its technology and products worldwide for research, medical, and industrial applications requiring assessment of the human genome, infectious disease and biothreat agents. See http://www.cepheid.com/ for more information.

Contact: William McMillan Vice President, Biotechnology Cepheid (408) 541-4191 Cindy R. WalkerPeach, Ph.D. Director, Development & cGMP Operations Ambion Diagnostics Ambion, Inc. (512) 651-0200

Ambion Diagnostics

CONTACT: William McMillan, Vice President, Biotechnology of Cepheid,+1-408-541-4191; or Cindy R. WalkerPeach, Ph.D., Director, Development & cGMPOperations of Ambion Diagnostics, Ambion, Inc., +1-512-651-0200



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