World's leading 'mad cow' diagnostic company, responds to USDA's additional BSE protection measures

December 31, 2003

Sunnyvale, Calif., December 31, 2003 - Prionics AG, the world leader in testing procedures for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), today issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding additional BSE protection measures:

"Prionics praises the approach taken by the USDA and its decision to bolster the already aggressive surveillance, detection and response program," said Dr. Bruno Oesch, president and CEO of Prionics. "The USDA's additional actions will further strengthen U.S. prevention systems and the confidence of both consumers and customers around the world."

Prionics®-Check WESTERN is the most accurate rapid-test procedure in the world. It has been used on more than 15 million cattle samples worldwide, and there have been no false positives recorded. Prionics AG has more than 50 percent share of the world market for BSE testing procedures, and it is the only company with two high-throughput BSE tests approved by EU. The two tests form a complementary and compatible BSE test system.

Prionics®-Check WESTERN detects BSE using three independent criteria: Prionics®-Check WESTERN is also the only recommended test for highly compromised tissue samples.

Prionics' surveillance concept led to the establishment of official EU-wide BSE screening programs in 2001, and the Prionics®-Check WESTERN is the preferred test in these programs. Canada adopted the Prionics®-Check WESTERN in May of 2003 for the initial evaluation of their BSE situation, and BSE-free countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile and others have also adopted this technology, in agreement with guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health.
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Prionics AG's research and development efforts are focused on neurological and prion diseases. The Prionics' research team works closely with a network of prion and neurological experts around the world. Prionics AG is an ISO 9001 certified company and currently employs 100 people. For more information about Prionics please contact press.relations@prionics.ch or visit our website www.prionics.ch.

Edelman Public Relations

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