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    Agreement for marketing & distribution of QuantiFERON

    Document date: Tue 28 May 2002 Published: Tue 28 May 2002 09:00:08
    Document No: 190705 Document part: A
    Market Flag: Y
    Classification: Other

    HOMEX - Melbourne

    Cellestis Limited and Nichirei Corporation of Tokyo, Japan have today
    entered into an agreement for the marketing and distribution of
    QuantiFERON(R) products in Japan. This agreement also includes a
    collaboration in the clinical testing and registration in Japan of a
    second-generation QuantiFER0N(R)-TB product.

    "The Japanese Ministry of Health has declared tuberculosis a state of
    emergency in Japan, and thus Japan represents a major opportunity for
    Cellestis. More than 20 million tests for tuberculosis infection are
    conducted every year in Japan" said Dr Tony Radford, Managing
    Director of Cellestis." We are extremely pleased to have a company of
    Nichirei's size and expertise as our Japanese partner. Nichirei has
    excellent infrastructure and distribution networks in Japan, and the
    Nichirei Biosciences Division has proven expertise in both gaining
    regulatory approval and marketing of medical diagnostics in Japan."

    Cellestis Limited develops and markets diagnostics measuring the Cel
    mediated Immune system, using its patented QuantiFERON(R) technology.
    This includes QuantiFERON(R)-TB, the Cellestis product for the
    diagnosis of TB infection, recently approved by the US FDA. Cellestis
    is now developing and clinically testing a second-generation
    QuantiFERON(R) test for TB with specialised utility in Japan. Unlike
    most of the developed world, Japan applies universal and repeated BCG
    vaccination against tuberculosis which limits the utility of current
    TB diagnostics, and the second generation QuantiFERON(R)-TB test
    overcomes this limitation.

    Nichirei Corporation is a large and diverse Japanese company, with
    businesses in Temperature Controlled Logistics, Foodstuffs, Processed
    Foods, Biosciences, and Real Estate. Nichirei Corporation has a staff
    of nearly 7,000 employees and had sales of 560,000 million Yen (A$8
    Billion) for FY 2001. Nichirei Biosciences develops and sells medical
    diagnostic and biotechnology research products in Japan.

    "We are excited by the opportunity QuantiFERON(R) offers for a
    highly specific TB test in Japan" said Mr Takeshi Ara, Executive
    Officer General Manager, Nichirei Biosciences Business Division."
    Cellestis and Nichirei will be working together to gain registration
    of the second-generation QuantiFERON(R)-TB product. We believe there
    is a large medical need for such a product in Japan."


    Although widely used, particularly in developing nations, BCG
    vaccination does not generally prevent tuberculosis infection in
    adults, although it is known to reduce mortality from TB infection in
    children. Unfortunately, extensive and repeated BCG vaccination, such
    as that used in Japan, corrupts tuberculin skin testing (Mantoux
    testing) for tuberculosis infection. The BCG organism in the vaccine
    is a close relative of the tuberculosis organism and vaccination can
    cause false-positive reactions. As a result of this, Japan relies
    heavily on chest X-rays to detect early signs of tuberculosis, and
    does not have a viable test for the early detection of TB infection.

    Although QuantiFERON(R)-TB is less affected by BCG vaccination than
    the Mantoux test, the second-generation QuantiFERON(R)-TB product
    will employ components which are specific to the TB organism but are
    absent from BCG, and will thus be completely unaffected by the BCG
    vaccination status of the individual being tested. The second
    generation QuantiFERON(R)-TB test will provide Japan with a much
    needed diagnostic tool allowing detection of TB infection before it
    causes disease, helping to combat the TB problem in Japan.

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