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Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California) (AFFX) And bioMerieux, Inc. Extend Their Agreement On GeneChip(R) Technology To Breast Cancer Diagnostics


10/19/2005 5:13:12 PM

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and MARCY L'ETOILE, France, April 5 /PRNewswire- FirstCall/ -- Affymetrix Inc. and bioMerieux announced today that Affymetrix has granted bioMerieux long-term and comprehensive access to its GeneChip(R) technology to develop and market in vitro diagnostic tests for breast cancer, as well as an option to expand the agreement into other cancer areas.

The agreement, made under the Powered by Affymetrix(TM) program, gives bioMerieux non-exclusive rights to Affymetrix' patented arrays, instrumentation systems and future improvements to these key technologies. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Microarrays are on the path to becoming a clinical reality in oncology, helping clinicians to provide a more holistic understanding of disease and treatment," said Dr. Dirk Lammerts, M.D., Affymetrix' Vice President of Molecular Diagnostics. "bioMerieux is at the cutting edge of diagnostic technology and we are pleased that they have chosen the Affymetrix platform for this project."

Under the Powered by Affymetrix(TM) program, Affymetrix provides technology and expertise for products that are developed, branded and marketed by diagnostic companies. This includes the GeneChip System 3000Dx, which has been granted regulatory clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CE marked in the European Union for in-vitro diagnostic use.

"bioMerieux provides a full range of solutions for molecular diagnostics, from single to multiple and complex genetic targets, requiring the use of microarrays. Our extended agreement with Affymetrix broadens our rights beyond infectious diseases, food and water testing. The potential for microarrays in cancer application will be vast, ranging from diagnosis to personalized treatment," explained Dr Christophe Merieux, Vice President Research and Development - Medical Affairs.

About Affymetrix

Affymetrix scientists invented the world's first microarray in 1989 and began selling the first commercial microarray in 1994. Since then, Affymetrix GeneChip(R) technology has become the industry standard in molecular biology research. Affymetrix technology is used by the world's top pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology companies as well as leading academic, government and not-for-profit research institutes. More than 1,200 systems have been shipped around the world and nearly 3,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published using the technology. Affymetrix' patented photolithographic manufacturing process provides the most information capacity available today on an array, enabling researchers to use a whole-genome approach to analyze the relationship between genetics and health. Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., with manufacturing facilities in Sacramento, Calif., and Bedford, Mass. The company maintains important sales and marketing operations in Europe and Asia and has about 900 employees worldwide.

All statements in this press release that are not historical are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act as amended, including statements regarding Affymetrix' "expectations," "beliefs," "hopes," "intentions," "strategies" or the like. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially for Affymetrix from those projected, including, but not limited to risks of the Company's ability to achieve and sustain higher levels of revenue, higher gross margins, reduced operating expenses, uncertainties relating to technological approaches, manufacturing, product development (including uncertainties relating to the use of diagnostic arrays and outcome of licensing agreements discussed in this press release), personnel retention, uncertainties related to cost and pricing of Affymetrix products, dependence on collaborative partners, uncertainties relating to sole source suppliers, uncertainties relating to FDA and other regulatory approvals, competition, risks relating to intellectual property of others and the uncertainties of patent protection and litigation. These and other risk factors are discussed in Affymetrix' Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004 and other SEC reports, including its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for subsequent quarterly periods. Affymetrix expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Affymetrix' expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statements are based.

NOTE: Affymetrix, the Affymetrix logo, and GeneChip are registered trademarks owned or used by Affymetrix, Inc

About bioMerieux

bioMerieux is a leading international diagnostics group that specializes in the field of in vitro diagnostics for clinical and industrial applications. bioMerieux designs, develops, manufactures and markets systems (i.e. reagents, instruments and software) used in:

-- Clinical applications: the diagnosis of infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis and respiratory illnesses, as well as pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer, based on the analysis of biological samples (such as blood, saliva or urine); and -- Industrial applications: the microbiological analysis of food, environments (such as water and air), surfaces and pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, based on the analysis of product or environmental samples.

In 2004, bioMerieux sales reached 931 million euros. The company is present in more than 130 countries through 33 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors, which positions the company well to benefit from the growth potential of the in vitro diagnostics market. Some important drivers that underpin this growth are aging populations and age-related illness, illnesses related to life-style and eating habits, emerging new pathogens, the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the fight against bio-terrorism, the recognition of the importance of the quality of food products.

bioMerieux is listed on the Premier Marche of Euronext, Paris (FR0010096479 - BIM).

Affymetrix, Inc.

CONTACT: Wes Conard, Director, Public Relations of Affymetrix,+1-408-731-5791; or Tiphaine Hecketsweiler of Image 7, + 33-1-53-70-74-59, orthecketsweiler@image7.fr; or investors, Doug Farrell, Vice President, InvestorRelations for bioMerieux, +1-408-731-5285, or Dominique Takizawa,+33-4-78-87-22-37, or investor.relations@eu.biomerieux.com



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