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Primagen Holding B.V. Licenses Newly Discovered Coronavirus CoV-NL63 To bioMerieux, Inc.

2/1/2006 12:59:06 PM

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, February 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Primagen Holding B.V. announces today that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with bioMerieux for a new coronavirus that was discovered by the AMC in collaboration with researchers of Primagen

The new coronavirus CoV-NL63 causes severe respiratory disease in children under five and is associated with respiratory disease in adults and the elderly. The new CoV-NL63 human coronavirus and its role in respiratory disease were first described by Dr. Lia van der Hoek and her colleagues at the Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam in 2004. In subsequent publications the NL-63 virus has been shown to circulate in Europe, North America and Asia and is associated with croup in children and immune compromised patients. Additionally, it was demonstrated that HCoV-NL63 uses the same receptor (ACE-2) as HCoV-SARS to enter its host cells. Several laboratories are now in the process of assessing the possible association of NL-63 with Kawasaki disease, which was first reported by Dr. Jeffrey Kahn and colleagues from Yale University.

Bob van Gemen, CEO of Primagen, comments, "One of Primagen's goals is to discover new viruses that can help in solving the unmet diagnostic challenges seen in the infectious disease field. With a wide portfolio of infectious disease tests, bioMerieux is an ideal partner that can enable the development and commercialization of this test to the IVD market".

This agreement will allow bioMerieux to develop and market the CoV-NL63 virus test. In addition, bioMerieux will be responsible for sub-licensing activities to other in vitro diagnostics manufacturers for this pathogen.

About Primagen Holding B.V.

Primagen is a privately held company headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Primagen designs, develops and commercializes molecular tests that have high, individualized predictive value and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from life-threatening diseases, such as infections, AIDS and cancer. Primagen has two marketed molecular product lines: Mitox(TM) products measure mitochondrial DNA and RNA in clinical samples with unmatched accuracy. The Rainbow product enables detection of all circulating HIV-1 subtypes and combined with Primagen's proprietary dried bloodspot filter paper technology brings HIV-1 viral load measurement to resource-poor environments. For additional information about Primagen, visit

Primagen Holding B.V.

CONTACT: Contact : Primagen Holding B.V., Jos Rijntjes, +31-20-566-8575,

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