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Chiron, Ortho Diagnostic Systems and International Murex Reach Worldwide HCV Agreement.

EMERYVILLE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 28, 1996--Chiron Corporation (NASDAQ: CHIR), its immunodiagnostics partner Ortho Diagnostic Systems, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, and International Murex Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: MURXF) announced today that the three companies have reached a worldwide agreement concerning tests for hepatitis C virus (HCV) under which all litigation between the companies will permanently cease.

Full terms of the settlement will not be disclosed.

The agreement grants Murex a license to sell HCV serotyping tests worldwide, and other HCV tests in selected countries excluding North America, European Economic Community members and Japan. The agreement grants to Chiron and Ortho rights to the Murex Sample Addition Monitor (SAM(TM)) technology as well as an option to sell Murex's HCV serotyping test. Murex also agreed as part of the settlement to withdraw its opposition to Chiron's HCV patents worldwide.

Chiron discovered hepatitis C virus, formerly non-A, non-B hepatitis, in 1987. Subsequent epidemiological and clinical studies have determined that HCV is a major cause of serious liver disease around the world. HCV screening tests from the Chiron-Ortho joint business and its licensees have prevented millions of cases of transfusion-associated hepatitis C infection since the introduction of the first HCV tests by Chiron and Ortho in 1989. Chiron and Ortho previously have granted licenses to Abbott Laboratories and Pasteur Sanofi Diagnostics under the Chiron HCV patents.

International Murex Technologies Corporation is a vertically integrated, medical diagnostic products company that through its subsidiaries is dedicated to the research, manufacture and marketing of products for the detection, monitoring and screening of infectious diseases and other medical conditions. Murex manufactures and markets on a worldwide basis more than 600 products. Murex has marketing and distribution activities in more than 100 countries, with direct local representatives in 35 leading markets.

Chiron Corporation, headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., near San Francisco, is a science-driven healthcare company that combines diagnostic, vaccine and therapeutic strategies for controlling disease. Chiron participates in four global healthcare markets: diagnostics, including immunodiagnostics, critical care diagnostics and new quantitative probe tests; 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 underway in gene therapy and gene transfer, combinatorial chemistry, cardiovascular disease and critical care.

CONTACT: Chiron Corporation, Emeryville

Larry Kurtz, 510/601-2476
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 28, 1996
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