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24 March 2010

Smiths Detection today announces its Diagnostics business has signed a collaboration and licence agreement with Novartis Diagnostics under which Novartis is granted exclusive rights to market Smiths Detection’s Bio-Seeq instrument and the associated LATE PCR DNA analysis technology in the area of infectious disease diagnostics.

Under the agreement, Smiths Detection will leverage its expertise in instrument development and point-of-care diagnostic devices to further enhance the Bio-Seeq platform and sample preparation consumables and to develop a range of diagnostic tests. Novartis Diagnostics will be responsible for clinical trials, regulatory affairs, sales and marketing.  Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but payments will be linked to product development and commercial milestones.

The Bio-Seeq platform enables rapid, flexible, and highly precise detection of bacterial and viral pathogens and is designed for users with little or no experience of biological testing.  LATE PCR, for which Smiths Detection holds an exclusive license from Brandeis University in Boston Mass., is an advanced method for isolating and amplifying individual DNA sequences that can be used to identify the organisms that cause a wide range of human infectious diseases.
Bill Mawer, President of Smiths Detection Diagnostics, said:  "We are delighted that such a major health company as Novartis has chosen to invest in the Bio-Seeq platform and our LATE PCR technology. Our close collaboration holds out great promise both for patients’ wellbeing and healthcare savings."

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