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BD Signs Agreement to Acquire Gentest Corporation


Contact:
Camilla Jenkins / Media Relations
201-847-5369
Stephen Mock / Investor Relations
201-847-6840

Franklin Lakes, NJ (December 20, 2000) -- BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Gentest Corporation, a privately-held company serving the life sciences market in the areas of drug metabolism and toxicology testing of pharmaceutical candidates. The transaction is expected to close by January 31, 2001, and is expected to be non-dilutive to the Company’s 2001 earnings and positive thereafter.

“The acquisition of Gentest is part of BD’s strategy to expand our presence in the growing area of reagents and systems for pharmaceutical drug discovery research,” said Deborah J. Neff, president, BD Biosciences (BDB). “Gentest’s strengths in in vitro drug metabolism and toxicology complement BD’s expertise in molecular biology and immunology. We are particularly pleased to welcome Gentest founder, Charles Crespi, who is well-known in the pharma/biotech field and highly regarded as a scientific leader.”

Incorporated in 1982, Gentest is a leading developer of specialty reagents for P450 drug metabolism and toxicology, with one of the broadest portfolios in the industry. Gentest products enable pharmaceutical and biotech companies to screen drug candidates, in vitro, for adverse drug-drug interactions and toxicity, including liver toxicity. The company is located in Woburn, Massachusetts and will operate as a part of the Massachusetts-based BD Discovery Labware group.

“Gentest has a 17-year history of leadership and innovation in delivering the highest quality reagents and contract services for cytochrome P450 screening and toxicology research,” said Charles Crespi, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Gentest. “By joining forces with BD, we expect to expand our portfolio of exclusive reagents for metabolism screening in formats more amenable to tomorrow’s needs for automation and scale-up. With BDB’s worldwide sales and technical reach and its expertise in instrumentation, software, platform consumables, reagents and services, we can begin to offer a much broader range of products, contract services and technical support to answer the needs of tomorrow’s research community.”

BDB is a leading life sciences reagent and instrument supplier with global sales of $550 million for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2000. Headquartered in San Jose, California, BDB pioneered cell analysis in 1973 with the introduction of FACS, the first commercially available fluorescence-activated cell sorter. Since then, BDB has become the worldwide leader in flow cytometry instruments and reagent systems for both research and clinical markets.

BD is a medical technology company that manufactures and sells a broad range of supplies, devices and systems for use by healthcare professionals, medical research institutions, industry and the general public. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2000, BD had total revenues of $3.6 billion.