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Ciba Corning Diagnostics Changes Name to Chiron Diagnostics, Completing Integration Into Chiron Corporation.

WALPOLE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 28, 1996--Ciba Corning Diagnostics Corporation will change its name to Chiron Diagnostics Corporation as of November 1, reflecting the completion of its worldwide integration into the diagnostic operations of Chiron Corporation, a major U.S.-based biotechnology company. The new Chiron Diagnostics business unit combines leading positions in the development and supply of critical blood analyte and automated immunoassay systems with a pioneering program in researching and applying innovative nucleic acid technology to measure viral load in patients. The name change completes a process that began with the January 1995 acquisition of Ciba Corning by Chiron from Ciba-Geigy Ltd., as part of the strategic partnership transaction between the two companies.

"Chiron Diagnostics represents the integration of Chiron's leadership in infectious disease and cancer research and clinical understanding with Ciba Corning's state-of-the-art immunochemistry, instrument and software systems expertise and its global infrastructure for distribution and technical support," said Richard W. Barker, Ph.D., president of Chiron Diagnostics. "It's the best of both worlds for our customers: higher productivity, and access to the most advanced, high-value tests emerging from today's genetic knowledge."

Chiron Diagnostics combines biological technologies, chemistry and advanced instrument systems to empower physicians with information to better manage therapies and help patients understand their disease. With combined revenues of $628 million in 1995, Chiron Diagnostics ranked eighth among diagnostics companies. In addition to its strengths in immunodiagnostics, critical care diagnostics and nucleic acid diagnostics, its joint business with Ortho Diagnostic Systems, a Johnson & Johnson company, is the world's second-largest supplier of blood screening tests. This business capitalizes on Chiron's discovery of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and its development of an HCV antibody test.

"With the integration of the two companies now complete, customers will benefit from Chiron Diagnostics' vast research capability and its leadership in automated system design," said Chris Gleeson, president, U.S. Commercial Operations. "Chiron Diagnostics is poised to develop new products and approaches to make diagnostic testing an integral part of the disease management process."

The first product that will reflect these combined capabilities will be the ACS:Centaur, the first true continuous operation immunoassay system that produces up to 240 test results per hour. The ACS:Centaur is the latest advance in the company's 20 year history of developing in vitro tests to detect levels of hormones, drugs and other substances and will be a vehicle for the rapid commercialization of Chiron's discoveries in areas such as infectious disease and cancer.

In addition, Chiron Diagnostics' branched DNA (bDNA) technology to measure viral load -- the amount of a virus in the blood -- has already made a substantial impact on disease understanding, drug development and patient treatment in HIV. Published studies have reported that the Quantiplex bDNA probe test for HIV provides a powerful prognostic tool to stage disease progression and assess the efficacy of HIV treatment. Initial data, presented at the XI International Conference on AIDS, indicate that combination drug therapy can reduce that amount of HIV in blood to undetectable levels, as measured by bDNA.

Chiron's partner, Daiichi Pure Chemicals Ltd. markets Quantiplex bDNA probe tests for hepatitis C and B in Japan, where the tests are being used to select and monitor therapy of chronic hepatitis patients.

These applications of bDNA technology are examples of Chiron's synergistic approach to disease management that combines disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, known as the Therametrics(TM) concept. Therametrics tests will go beyond traditional "routine testing" by helping physicians to make informed decisions about how best to treat individuals rather than simply identifying a disease or condition.

Headquartered in Walpole, Massachusetts, USA, Chiron Diagnostics has operations in 20 countries, sells its products in an additional 70 countries and employs approximately 3,500 people.

Chiron Corporation, the parent company, is a science-driven healthcare enterprise that combines diagnostic, vaccine and therapeutic strategies for controlling disease. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, USA, with operations on four continents, Chiron had revenues in 1995 of $1.1 billion. In addition to diagnostics, Chiron participates in therapeutics, with an emphasis on oncology and infectious disease; pediatric and adult vaccines; and ophthalmic surgical products for the correction of vision. Chiron also has research programs in gene therapy, combinatorial chemistry, cancer, infectious and cardiovascular disease, and critical care.

CONTACT: Chiron Diagnostics Corporation

Judy Rossi, 508/660-4875
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 28, 1996
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