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From: TSS ()
Subject: Bio-Rad Comments on Positive Confirmation of BSE Test Result
Date: June 29, 2005 at 12:23 pm PST

Bio-Rad Comments on Positive Confirmation of BSE Test Result
Wednesday June 29, 1:55 pm ET
Company Affirms the Accuracy and Reliability of Its Rapid Screening Test

HERCULES, Calif., June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- On Friday, June 24th the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the results of final confirmatory tests conducted at the world reference laboratory for BSE, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), in Weybridge, England and the USDA's laboratory in Ames, Iowa. Results have confirmed that the sample from an animal that tested "initial reactive" on screening tests in November 2004 has tested positive for BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). These results corroborate the initial findings of two Bio-Rad BSE screening tests conducted on the suspect cow last November. According to the USDA, the VLA conducted a combination of confirmatory tests including IHC (immunohistochemistry) and Western Blot methods to confirm this case of BSE.

"These results are consistent with our experience in 27 countries around the world -- that the Bio-Rad BSE screening test has an exceptional level of accuracy and is highly regarded in the scientific community," said Bio-Rad Vice President Brad Crutchfield. "We are pleased that the test has been performing as expected in the USDA's BSE surveillance program."

According to the USDA, the disease was difficult to detect because the animal had a very low level of abnormal prion protein in the brain and those abnormalities were isolated and not consistent throughout the brain. As a result, the USDA's confirmatory tests produced inconsistent -- both positive and negative results -- from sample to sample. It is for this reason that the high sensitivity of the Bio-Rad test is a critical factor in the success of the USDA surveillance program because it identifies even the most difficult-to-detect abnormal prions.

Bio-Rad is the leading provider of tests used for detecting TSEs (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies). To date, the company has provided more than 35 million BSE tests to laboratories throughout Europe and Japan. Independent field studies have shown the Bio-Rad BSE test to have the highest level of sensitivity and specificity of any rapid screening test available. The test detects the presence of the resistant form of prion protein, or PrPres, linked to BSE and can identify these prions at extremely low levels. This capability to detect very low levels of prions helps assure that BSE infected animals do not go undetected.

The USDA initiated its enhanced BSE surveillance program in June 2004. Since then, USDA-approved laboratories and the National Veterinary Service Laboratory (NVSL) have used the Bio-Rad rapid BSE test to screen nearly 400,000 cattle.

Bio-Rad also supplies the U.S. with tests for other TSEs, including its Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) test which is the only test approved by the USDA for use on all three species affected with CWD (white tailed deer, mule deer and elk). The company's screening test used to detect scrapie in sheep and goats was recently licensed by the USDA.

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. ( is a multinational manufacturer and distributor of life science research products and clinical diagnostics. It is based in Hercules, California, and serves thousands of research and industry customers worldwide through a network of more than 30 wholly owned subsidiary offices.

Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) is an executive agency of Great Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), consisting of a regional network of 16 laboratories throughout the UK. The Agency provides all sectors of the animal health industry with animal disease surveillance, diagnostic services and veterinary scientific research. Since 1991, the VLA has been the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Reference Laboratory for scrapie and BSE and in 2001 the European Commission officially designated VLA as the Community Reference Laboratory for TSEs. The VLA was responsible for the first description of BSE in 1996 and the subsequent description of and research relating to TSEs in other species.

Various statements made within this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" for purposes of the Securities and Exchange Commission's "safe harbor" provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Rule 3b-6 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements contained herein involve risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from the Company's expectations.


Source: Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. • Ultra sensitive assay


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