Lab21 Limited

Lab21 announces publication of syphilis diagnostic patent

Cambridge, UK – 21st July 2009: Lab21, the healthcare diagnostics company, is pleased to announce the publication of its international patent application covering the use of syphilis antigens in immunodiagnostic applications.
Lab21 scientists discovered that chemical treatment of recombinant syphilis antigens improved the ability of these proteins to discriminate between infected and non-infected samples. This information has now been successfully incorporated into Lab21’s syphilis detection products with significant improvement in the specificity of its assays.
Colin Knox, Head of Immunodiagnostic Development at Lab21, explained: “The technology we have developed means that we can now provide improved specificity without compromising the high level of sensitivity required by such a test. The real value of this technology is that it significantly improves the performance of our assays in screening protocols for blood-borne pathogens. This combination of high sensitivity and high specificity has been a major issue in the syphilis EIA market and we believe that the panel of Lab21 syphilis assays now meets the highest standards required by our customers.”
Hayden Jeffreys, Head of Sales and Marketing Diagnostic Products at Lab21, commented: “This improvement in the syphilis assay is highly relevant to routine diagnostic laboratories both in Europe and the US and demonstrates our significant investment in the enhancement of our immunodiagnostic portfolio. We anticipate the regular launch of new proprietary assays as well as further enhancements of our cutting-edge products. An example of this will be the launch of our new cytomegalovirus assay, which will be available from next month and will bring the benefits of higher sensitivity and earlier detection of CMV infection.”

For further information:
Graham Mullis, CEO
Maddy Kennedy, CFO
Dr Berwyn Clarke, CSDO
t: +44 (0)1223 395461
e: graham.mullis@lab-21.com

For media and investor enquiries:
Buchanan Communications
Mark Court / Rebecca Skye Dietrich / Katharine Sutton
t: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
e: markc@buchanan.uk.com

About Lab21
Lab21 is a global provider of state-of-the-art diagnostic products and services, supporting blood bank screening, medical diagnostics and drug discovery. Its customers include international healthcare providers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
The product division of the Company manufactures immunodiagnostic kits and reagents that are distributed into 110 international countries and is focused on infectious diseases for the blood-banking market.
The service division has a growing test portfolio providing companion diagnostics and high technology molecular assays for the growing integration of personalised medicine into healthcare. These services are currently in infectious diseases, oncology and pharmacogenetics areas with emerging interests in cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
Lab21's clinical reference laboratory and corporate office is based in Cambridge and has additional UK manufacturing sites in Newmarket, Bridport and Ipswich. It also has R&D operations in Cape Town, South Africa. The Company's investors include Merlin Biosciences, Nexus Medical Partners, Medicis Capital, Rowan Dartington and Kreos Capital.
Website: www.lab21.com