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NorDiag AS licenses additional markers from Genzyme

Press Release 11 June 2005. NorDiag AS licenses additional markers from Genzyme to increase the sensitivity of its colorectal cancer assay. Greater sensitivity increases utility as a diagnostic and screening tool.

NorDiag AS announced today that it had signed a license agreement with Genzyme Corporation for European rights to the p53 and APC genes. This agreement will allow NorDiag to incorporate additional gene markers into its Genefec assay for the early detection of colorectal cancer. The addition of these markers for the p53 and the APC genes will further increase the sensitivity of the assay and allow it to detect colorectal cancer at an even earlier stage. The early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer is key in ensuring long-term survival.

Commenting on the agreement, Christian Horn, Chairman of NorDiag said "Our Genefec assay already allows for pre-malignant colorectal cancer to be detected at a stage when the chances of successful treatment are high. However the addition of these extra markers will further increase our assay's sensitivity - making it an even better tool for both diagnostic and public screening programmes."

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the Western world. There is a very high rate of success in the treatment of these cancers if they are detected and treated.

Mara Aspinall, president of Genzyme Genetics, a business unit of Genzyme Corporation and provider of diagnostic testing services for cancer, added, "As holders of the rights for these markers, we are happy that they will be used in an assay that will play an important role in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer which has a high mortality rate. We are pleased to work with NorDiag to broaden access to this valuable technology for patients in Europe."

The Genefec assay is a non-invasive test that uses fecal samples as the specimen. The test is highly specific, easy to automate and is ideal for use in both a diagnostic or screening environment.


For more information contact

Kevin Payne
De Facto Communications, London
Tel: +44 207 940 1031
Mobile: +44 7976 534517

Christian Horn
Chairman of NorDiag
Tel:+47 55 54 39 65
Mobile:+47 90 16 31 53

Notes to editors

About NorDiag AS
NorDiag is a company in the Novel Diagnostics group. The company focuses on early diagnosis of cancer and launched Genefec I, its first generation test for early detection of colorectal and pancreatic cancer, on the Norwegian market in 2002. Genefec II, the second generation test which includes the p53 marker, was launched in Norway in April 2005. The company is based in Bergen, Norway and London, UK.