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BD Diagnostics Announces Availability in Africa of New CD4 Stabilization Blood Collection Technology


BD Vacutainer® Tube Is Designed to Improve Reliability of HIV Testing and Reduce Healthcare Costs in Sub-Saharan Regions

Contact: Alyssa Zeff
Corporate Communications
(201) 847-4358
Email: alyssa_zeff@bd.com

Franklin Lakes, N.J. (August 12, 2006) --

BD Diagnostics, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE:BDX), today announced immediate availability in Africa of the BD Vacutainer® CD4 Stabilization Blood Collection Tube. The new device is designed to improve the accuracy of CD4 test results for HIV-infected patients and reduce healthcare costs associated with the CD4 testing process in the more remote areas of Africa, where blood specimens are often exposed to temperatures greater than 20-25º Celsius (C).

The collection tubes currently used for CD4 testing limit post-collection transport time from two to three days or less, at storage conditions of only 20-25º C. Testing laboratories often are required to repeat collection and testing of CD4 blood specimens due to these delayed or poor blood collection transport conditions, and substantial wasted costs are incurred by the labs. The BD Vacutainer® tube stabilizes CD4 cells for up to 3 days at 37º C, and for up to 7 days at 30º C.

“By improving the reliability of HIV testing and the cost-effectiveness of laboratory practices, we move one step closer to our goal of increasing access to care for those HIV/AIDS patients who live in the more remote sub-Saharan areas,” said Krista Thompson, Vice President and General Manager of HIV/AIDS at BD. “Developing the technology to improve the collection and transport of CD4 blood samples and making the new CD4 stabilization tube available in Africa exemplify BD’s ongoing commitment to providing the developing world with reliable and affordable monitoring technologies for CD4 testing.”

About CD4 Testing

Health professionals regularly monitor and use CD4 test results to make important treatment decisions in HIV-infected patients, most notably when the disease has progressed to the point where initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ARV) would be beneficial.

A recent study comparing the cost-effectiveness of CD4 counting to total lymphocyte count testing (TLC) and viral load (VL) testing found that in the absence of second line ARV, CD4 tests are a more cost effective laboratory testing strategy for managing HIV infection. Results of the study, conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and supported by a grant from BD through its BD Biosciences segment, were announced at the XVI International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2006) in Toronto, Canada.

As part of its ongoing commitment to increasing access to critical diagnostic technologies, BD entered into an agreement with the Clinton Foundation to expand accessibility of advanced CD4 cell-counting technology for immune system monitoring of people living with HIV/AIDS. This agreement resulted in deeply discounted pricing – approximately 75 percent – for certain developing world countries compared with developed world pricing. BD also supports this agreement with training and equipment servicing.

About BD

BD, a leading global medical technology company that makes and sells medical devices, instrumented systems and reagents, is dedicated to improving people’s health throughout the world. BD is focused on improving drug therapy, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosing infectious diseases, and advancing research and discovery of new drugs and vaccines. The Company’s capabilities are instrumental in combating many of the world’s most pressing diseases. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs more than 25,000 people in approximately 50 countries throughout the world. The Company serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, industry and the general public. For more information, please visit www.bd.com.