EMD launches first bead-based multiplex assays using EpiTag™ Technology from Epitome Biosystems, Inc.

Epitome Biosystems

EMD launches first bead-based multiplex assays using EpiTag™ Technology from Epitome Biosystems, Inc.

February 11, 2008

Gibbstown, NJ, and Waltham, MA – EMD Chemicals, Inc. (EMD), a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Epitome Biosystems, Inc, announced today that EMD has launched WideScreen™ EpiTag™ ERK Pathway Assays, the first wave of bead-based, multiplex assays using EpiTag™ Technology licensed from Epitome Biosystems. The new line of assays will enable researchers to make quantitative, highly multiplexed measurements of important cell targets, greatly facilitating drug discovery efforts.

EMD’s Novagen WideScreen Group and Epitome Biosystems collaborated to develop immunoassay panels using a novel, powerful technology platform for the multiplex quantitation of phosphorylated proteins. WideScreen EpiTag™ Assays, performed on the xMAP® Technology based line of instrument platforms from Luminex Corporation (Nasdaq: LMNX), utilize EpiTag™ Technology, a highly targeted measurement platform for multiplex protein assays. The first in a series of validated assay panels is available globally through the international sales and distribution network of the EMD/Merck group.

“WideScreen™ EpiTag™ Assays detect key signaling events in the ERK pathway from both human and mouse samples,” said Lisa Johnson, Novagen and Calbiochem Business Unit Manager with EMD. “These products demonstrate the power of EpiTag Technology and we look forward to developing more EpiTag Assays with Epitome Biosystems.”

ERK pathway protein levels and phosphorylation are deregulated in many types of cancer and are considered strong candidates for the development of therapeutic compounds. These assays will enable researchers to determine the effect of candidate compounds on multiple analytes, to allow a better understanding of on- and off-target effects. “Working with EMD to commercialize these EpiTag-based assays is an important step in building a comprehensive set of products to provide researchers with powerful approaches for making reliable cell- and tissue-based multiplex measurements,” said Neal Gordon, Ph.D., President, Epitome Biosystems. “These products address the market’s expressed need to obtain absolute, quantitative measures of protein phosphorylation in a highly targeted manner.”

EMD and Epitome Biosystems have ongoing collaborations to develop EpiTag Assays for additional targets in the ERK pathway and for membrane proteins, which traditionally have been very difficult to measure.

About EMD Chemicals Inc.

EMD Chemicals represents the North American chemical sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Along with its sister company, EMD Crop BioScience, it is an international organization with 1,110 employees and revenues of more than $US 360 million, providing specialty chemicals for pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic, automotive, plastics, electronics, agricultural and other industrial applications and is also engaged in the development, manufacture and distribution of a broad array of research reagents used for life science research. EMD Chemicals is known in the market by its product brands including Iriodin®, Xirallic®, Rona®, Calbiochem®, Novabiochem®, and Novagen®, among others.

About Merck KGaA

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR 6.3 billion in 2006, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 30,962 employees in 61 countries. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

About Epitome Biosystems, Inc.

Epitome Biosystems is applying its protein measurement platforms to increase the productivity of drug discovery and development and improve understanding of drug responses and disease. The Company’s Q-SONAR™ mass spectrometry-based biomarker discovery platform generates highly relevant information that facilitates decision making by elucidating the biological mechanisms governing health and disease. EpiTag™ technology delivers specific, quantitative, multiplexed cell assays for the routine measurement of proteins and protein modifications in a user-friendly format. Epitome’s technology is validated, scaleable and can be applied broadly across the drug discovery and development continuum and translated to clinical biomarker applications. For more information, visit www.epitomebiosystems.com.

Contacts:

Lisa Johnson
Vice President Corporate Development
(608) 422-4006
lisa.johnson@emdchemicals.com

Edward Machuga
VP Sales and Marketing Epitome Biosystems
781-891-3816
emachuga@epitomebiosystems.com