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Beckman Coulter and Bio-Rad Agree to New Access Immunoassay System Distribution Arrangement.

Business Editors/Health and Medical Writers


FULLERTON, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--Sept. 11, 2000

Beckman Coulter, Inc (NYSE:BEC) announced today that it has agreed with Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (Amex: BIO.A; BIO.B) not to renew a distribution contract for the Access(R) immunoassay system in 90 markets throughout Europe, Africa and the Pacific Rim. As a result, Beckman Coulter will assume sales responsibility for the instrument system and related test kits in these areas beginning September 2000.

The Access system is a random-access benchtop analyzer that performs a variety of assays, including test panels for cancer, anemia, cardiac, fertility, thyroid, infectious disease, blood virus, cancer, allergy and diabetes. In 1997, Beckman Coulter, then Beckman Instruments, Inc., purchased this product business from the Pasteur Sanofi Diagnostics (PSD) division of the French company, Sanofi. At that time, PSD became Beckman Coulter's distributor in geographic territories where their strength in blood virus and infectious disease assays was strategically important to both companies.

"Beckman Coulter's successful development in the immunoassay market and Bio-Rad's acquisition of Sanofi prompted both companies to review the strategic intent of our relationship," commented Beckman Coulter Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John P. Wareham. "In order for Beckman Coulter to leverage our strength in total laboratory workflow and to optimize the value it creates for our customers, our conversations with Bio-Rad have led to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of both companies not to renew this agreement."

"This is a positive step that will give both companies more flexibility and potential for growth," commented Bio-Rad President and CEO David Schwartz. "Bio-Rad can continue its focus on its core clinical diagnostic and life science businesses and Beckman Coulter can consolidate its sales and marketing efforts."

Separate research and development partnerships and contract manufacturing agreements are not affected by this decision and will be continued. The two companies will also pursue a variety of collaborations, especially in the infectious disease area.

Beckman Coulter is a leading provider of instrument systems and complementary products that simplify and automate processes in life science and clinical laboratories. The company's products are used throughout the world in all phases of the battle against disease, from pioneering medical research and drug discovery to diagnostic testing that aids in patient treatment. Annual sales for the company totaled $1.8 billion in 1999, with approximately half of this amount generated outside the United States. More information on the company is available at

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. ( is a multinational manufacturer and distributor of life science research products, clinical diagnostics and analytical instrumentation, based in Hercules, California. The company serves more than 70,000 research and industry customers worldwide through a network of more than 30 wholly owned subsidiary offices.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 11, 2000
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