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MetaMorphix Collaborates With Sequenom Inc. (SQNM) To Develop Animal Predictive Diagnostics


11/7/2005 10:45:10 AM

SAN DIEGO and BELTSVILLE, Md., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sequenom, Inc. and MetaMorphix, Inc. (MMI) announced today that MMI has chosen to use Sequenom's MassARRAY(R) genetic analysis system as the technical platform to aid it in completing preliminary commercialization field trials of its pipeline of new DNA-based animal predictive diagnostic tools. The first full commercial introduction of MMI's products for its corporate partner Cargill, Inc. is expected during 2006 and eventually could result in MMI conducting predictive diagnostic analysis for millions of cattle raised in the United States.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040415/SQNMLOGO)

The relationship focuses on MMI utilizing Sequenom's high throughput MassARRAY system for animal DNA screening and selection. MMI has completed the research phase and is entering into commercialization trials with products targeting two strategic markets -- livestock and companion animals. In livestock, MMI has developed, for Cargill, a management tool that will help feedlot operators select animals that answer consumer demands for consistency and quality in their meat products. In companion animals, MMI has developed single nucleotide polymorphism-based products that will accurately inform dog owners, breeders and registries of the parental verification and breed makeup of mixed as well as purebred dogs.

"We are pleased that MMI selected Sequenom's MassARRAY system and the iPLEX(TM) assay following a period of extensive due diligence," stated Harry Stylli, MBA, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Sequenom, Inc. "MMI's decision validates the broad application of our system and solidifies Sequenom's presence in the emerging market for molecular testing in agriculture, with the potential to provide cost effective genomic analysis testing for the millions of animals bred and raised each year."

"The scope of our many applications is large and could potentially change the future of livestock reproduction by increasing production efficiency and responding to consumer demands for quality meat. In the companion animal health industry, MMI's products will enable pet owners to anticipate their pet's health problems and manage their well being accordingly," stated Ed Quattlebaum, Chief Executive Officer of MMI. "We see our relationship with Sequenom as one that benefits both parties. For these critical phases of our projects, we needed to select a technical platform that would consistently provide accurate results in a cost efficient and timely manner. The iPLEX assay's cost advantage supported the choice of Sequenom's MassARRAY system now and in the future for the development of our predictive diagnostic tools."

Sequenom's role in agricultural testing is well established. The Company's MassARRAY system is being widely used in the European Scrapie eradication program in 2003 and was used to trace the source of the first United States case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, a chronic, degenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system of cattle. Sequenom installed the first MassARRAY system at the USDA in 1999.

About iPLEX(TM)

Sequenom's new iPLEX assay reduces the cost per genotype to less than five cents and offers efficient design and superior accuracy. Sequenom intends to continue reducing the cost per genotype in its core genotyping business by developing next generation iPLEX products with increased multiplexing levels.

About MetaMorphix

Founded in 1994 and based in Beltsville, Maryland, MetaMorphix is a privately held life sciences company that uses the code of life, DNA, to improve the global food supply in addition to animal and human health. In livestock, MMI helps their customers produce higher quality, nutritious meat more efficiently; in companion animals, the company aids customers in verifying canine parentage and identifying breed make-up to better manage the health of their pets; and in human healthcare, we discover and license targets to pharmaceutical companies that develop therapies for better management of metabolic and muscular degenerative diseases. For additional information, visit www.metamorphixinc.com.

About Sequenom

Sequenom is committed to providing the best genetic analysis products that translate genomic science into superior solutions for biomedical research, molecular medicine and agricultural applications. The Company's proprietary MassARRAY system is a high-performance DNA analysis platform that efficiently and precisely measures the amount of genetic target material and variations therein. The system is able to deliver reliable and specific data from complex biological samples and from genetic target material that is only available in trace amounts.

Sequenom (R), MassARRAY(R), iPLEX(TM) are trademarks of Sequenom, Inc.

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements concerning expectations and plans related to MMI and MMI's use of Sequenom's MassARRAY system, Sequenom's potential in molecular testing in agricultural and animal applications, and Sequenom's intentions to reduce cost per genotype, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the risks detailed from time to time in Sequenom's SEC filings, including Sequenom's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, and its most recently filed quarterly report on Form 10-Q. These forward-looking statements are based on current information that is likely to change and speak only as of the date hereof.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "believe," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," "should," "planned," "estimated," and "potential," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on MetaMorphix Inc.'s current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, MetaMorphix Inc. notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties that may affect the operations, performance, development, and results of MetaMorphix Inc.'s business include but are not limited to; (1) unproven use of scientific information to develop or commercialize products; and (2) other factors that might be described from time to time in the Company's business plans and regulatory filings.

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040415/SQNMLOGOAP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.orgPRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.comSequenom, Inc.

CONTACT: Amy Caterina, Investor Relations, of Sequenom, Inc.,+1-858-202-9033, acaterina@sequenom.com



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