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bioMerieux Licenses Technology from Norchip to Launch a HPV Test for Cervical Cancer Risk Detection

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bioMérieux and NorChip have announced that bioMerieux has entered into a worldwide exclusive license agreement for rights developed by NorChip to a m-RNA based Human Papillomavirus (HPV)diagnostic, for early detection of cervical carcinogenesis.

The test will use the NucliSENS EasyQ®platform and be available during the second quarter of 2007.

“We are very pleased to enter this agreement as it increases the opportunity to prevent cervical cancer, and provide all women, irrespectively of age, with a better life through improved health“, said Dr. Geir Morland, CEO of NorChip.

“An agreement with one of the world leaders in the field of in vitro diagnostics enables accurate and cost-effective prevention of cervical cancer worldwide“, he added.

“The m-RNA based HPV assay developed by NorChip is an important addition to our diagnostic portfolio, as it increases significantly our commercial molecular diagnostic offer,” stated Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of bioMérieux.

“This agreement fits exactly with our strategy to focus on bringing to clinicians diagnostic tests with high-medical value”.

The test will use the mRNA based HPV detection technology developed and patented by NorChip and the NASBA® RealTime technology from bioMérieux.

Under the agreement, NorChip will license the patents and related technology to bioMérieux, who will manufacture and distribute kits for use with its NucliSENS EasyQ® system. The licensed technology will utilize the fact that cells integrated with DNA from oncogenic HPV virus strains express oncogenic proteins based on continuous expression of abnormal m-RNA.

The assay will be distributed exclusively by bioMérieux with its NucliSENS EasyQ® system worldwide, except for the Nordic countries, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

bioMerieux will pay NorChip upfront fees, milestone payments, as well as royalties on sales.