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BRITISH COURT RULES ON HEPATITIS C PATENT; MUREX CONTINUES TO SELL ANTI-HCV PRODUCTS

 NORCROSS, Ga., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- International Murex Technologies Corporation (AMEX, TSE: MXX) announced that based on a ruling today in the Patents Court in London, Murex is free to continue to manufacture and sell its Hepatitis C viral antibody detection products, the Murex (TM) anti-HCV tests, in the United Kingdom and internationally. The Court ruled that the Hepatitis C patent held by Chiron Corporation is upheld as it relates to diagnostic tests, but is invalid with respect to a monopoly on vaccines and tissue culture. The Court further held that while Murex's Hepatitis C viral antibody detection products infringe the Chiron patent, the patent is currently not enforceable, due to an invalid provision contained in the licensing agreement between Chiron and its licensee Ortho Diagnostic Systems Inc. Murex will have no liability for damages with respect to past sales of its anti-HCV products.
 "We are extremely pleased that Murex can continue to supply our anti- HCV tests in the U.K. and 38 other countries. The superiority of our products has already been demonstrated by their rapid and enthusiastic acceptance in the worldwide marketplace. While this patent dispute is ongoing, we anticipate no significant financial impact from it during 1993," said C. Robert Cusick, chief executive officer of International Murex.
 International sales of the Murex anti-HCV tests accounted for less than 10 percent of the company's revenues in the first six months of 1993.
 The judgement does not rule out the possibility that Chiron may in the future seek to amend their agreement with Ortho to make it valid prospectively. If this were done, Murex would challenge both in the Patents Court and the Court of Appeal any attempt to prevent the company from selling its anti-HCV products.
 Hepatitis C is a virus carried in the blood, which attacks the liver and is capable of causing serious illness and death. Until the introduction of HCV blood screening tests, HCV was the cause of 90 percent of all causes of post-transfusional hepatitis.
 International Murex Technologies Corporation is a medical diagnostic products company dedicated to the research, manufacture and marketing of products for the detection, monitoring and screening of infectious diseases and other medical conditions. The company manufactures and markets on a worldwide basis more than 600 products, including a range of blood screening and diagnostic tests and its unique, rapid (10 minute) SUDS(R) tests for the detection of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-1+2.
 -0- 10/5/93
 /CONTACT: C. Robert Cusick, vice chairman and chief executive officer; or Marcia Young, director of corporate communications, 800-322-1332 or 404-662-0660; or David Tholen, president and chief operating officer, 32-227-7711; all of International Murex Technologies Corporation/
 (MXX)


CO: International Murex Technologies Corporation ST: Georgia IN: MTC SU:

JL-CM -- NE006 -- 8769 10/05/93 10:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 5, 1993
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