GeneOhm Sciences, Inc.

January 10, 2006 10:16 ET

GeneOhm Sciences Announces Agreement to Be Acquired by BD

SAN DIEGO--(CCNMatthews - Jan 10, 2006) -

Leader in Innovative Nucleic-Acid Based Diagnostic Solutions for Infection Prevention Joins a World Leader in Clinical Diagnostic Products

GeneOhm Sciences, Inc., a privately held emerging leader in nucleic-acid based diagnostic solutions for the rapid detection of infectious microorganisms, announced today that it has reached an agreement to be acquired by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company).

Jim Blair, Partner of Domain Associates, LLC and investor in GeneOhm Sciences since 2001, said, "We invested in GeneOhm to build a company with a leadership position in innovating new solutions for patient management through molecular diagnostics. The agreement to acquire GeneOhm by BD recognizes this accomplishment." "GeneOhm Sciences has assembled a critical mass of people, products, technology and operations, including its facilities in Quebec City; with the support of BD, GeneOhm should continue in reaching its full potential," comments Andre Archimbaud, Senior Vice President, Life Sciences Investments, for the Societe Generale de Financement du Quebec.

GeneOhm Sciences, formed in 2001 by Professor Jacqueline K. Barton of Caltech, develops and markets nucleic-acid based, molecular diagnostic tests for the rapid detection of bacterial microorganisms. It acquired Infectio Diagnostics, Inc., formed by Professor Michel Bergeron of Laval University, in 2004. One of GeneOhm's products, the IDI-MRSA™ assay, detects MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) directly from clinical specimens in less than two hours -- a time savings of almost 46 hours by comparison with established, culture-based methods.

MRSA is a deadly, antibiotic resistant pathogen known to cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). GeneOhm Sciences intends to develop a menu of rapid molecular diagnostic tests for organisms associated with HAIs and other infectious diseases as part of an initiative to transform patient care through rapid testing for infection prevention. HAIs represent a growing threat to patient safety in healthcare settings with approximately 6 million HAIs reported annually in the US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Active screening to identify patients colonized with MRSA is advocated by a number of thought leaders and leading institutions in the US and Europe; these institutions have adopted active screening programs to rapidly identify patients colonized with MRSA as a means of reducing HAIs.

GeneOhm Sciences launched the IDI-MRSA™ assay in November, 2004, and the IDI-Strep B™ assay in December, 2003. These assays were the first nucleic-acid based tests to be cleared by regulatory agencies such as FDA and Health Canada to replace conventional microbiological culture and directly test clinical specimens. Additional product launches are planned for 2006. The company had revenues in 2005 of approximately $5 million and quarterly growth of 48% through sales in the US, Canada and Europe.

Peter Klemm, CEO of GeneOhm Sciences, who will remain as President of BD-GeneOhm, commented, "BD recognizes the enormous potential of rapid, nucleic-acid based diagnostic solutions and that GeneOhm brings the innovative ingredients for BD to extend its leadership position to HAIs."

Ron Lennox, General Partner CHL Medical Partners, LLC, said, "BD and GeneOhm are a perfect match; GeneOhm brings an entrepreneurial spirit and BD brings the strength of a company with more than 100 years of history." Ben Schapiro, Partner, QuestMark Partners, LLC, said, "We are pleased for this outcome for all GeneOhm investors and employees; we see this merger as a further opportunity for the technology GeneOhm has developed to positively impact healthcare." Rick Blume, Partner CB Health Ventures, LLC, stated, "We recognized GeneOhm's team as one that could develop technology and products for the right markets. BD is gaining an outstanding team and portfolio of technology; GeneOhm is gaining the support of a worldwide leader in diagnostics."

About GeneOhm Sciences, Inc.

GeneOhm Sciences is a molecular diagnostic company with locations in San Diego, CA and Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Its product portfolio includes two assays cleared by FDA and Health Canada for rapid detection of Group B Streptococcus (IDI-Strep B™) and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (IDI-MRSA™) directly from clinical specimens. These are the first molecular diagnostic products to be cleared as meeting the specifications required to replace culture for microorganism detection. GeneOhm's product pipeline is based on the combination of the company's proprietary technology for nucleic acid detection and its broad molecular IP. To learn more about GeneOhm Sciences, please visit www.geneohm.com.

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