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ABAXIS Announces Launch of the First Fully Automated Canine Wellness Profile That Includes a Canine Heartworm Antigen Test

October 8, 2009

UNION CITY, Calif., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Abaxis, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABAX), a medical products company manufacturing point-of-care blood analysis instruments for the medical, research and veterinary markets, announced today that it has received USDA approval for its Canine Heartworm Antigen Test to be performed on the company’s VetScan VS2 fully automated instrument. The Heartworm assay is now performed in the instrument alongside and simultaneously with eleven other important Canine health determinations, providing reliable results in minutes, at the point-of-care, and from only two drops of whole blood.

Ken Aron, Chief Technology Officer for Abaxis commented, “In the course of our development work we conducted extensive clinical testing of this Panel. We tested both the metabolic tests and the heartworm tests. For heartworm, we tested against several brands of lateral flow ‘strip’ tests and, in many cases, against necropsy verified samples. We tested hundreds of clinical samples – negative samples, known low worm burden samples, samples from very sick patients – at three different clinical sites, two private clinics in high-heartworm regions and also at a leading research university active in clinical research of heartworm and other parasitic infections. Through this testing we verified that the heartworm rotor-based assay has performance that is comparable to or exceeds all the widely used ‘strip’ tests and at the same time provides results from the metabolic tests with the same accuracy and precision that our customers are used to from our existing Abaxis rotors.”

Martin Mulroy, Vice President Sales and Marketing Animal Health added, “The Canine Wellness Profile accomplishes two very important things previously not possible in the veterinary clinic. First, it eliminates technique dependant, manual steps that are prone to error in some disposable devices. Secondly, it eliminates the subjective interpretation inherent in many product’s visually read results. Additionally, Abaxis has accomplished significantly reducing the costs associated with routine Wellness Testing performed at the point-of-care, which will increase pet owner acceptance and positively impact animal health in the United States and worldwide”.

The company’s VetScan VS2 instrument, about the size of a shoebox, now performs in clinic and in minutes, 25 different tests configured in 9 panels. Almost one in four veterinary practices in North America incorporate Abaxis instruments into routine wellness testing and annual check-ups, as an aide in the diagnosis of sick pets, and in emergency medicine and critical care.

About Abaxis, Inc.

Abaxis develops, manufactures and markets portable blood analysis systems for use in any veterinary or human patient-care setting to provide clinicians with rapid blood constituent measurements. The system consists of a compact, 5.1 kilogram (11.2 pounds), portable analyzer and a series of single-use plastic discs, called reagent discs or rotors, which contain all the chemicals required to perform a panel of up to 13 tests on veterinary patients and 14 tests on human patients. The system can be operated with minimal training and performs multiple routine tests on whole blood, serum or plasma samples. The system provides test results in less than 12 minutes with the precision and accuracy equivalent to a clinical laboratory analyzer. The veterinary business also provides to the animal health and research market a line of hematology instruments for point-of-care complete blood counts (CBC), a Coagulation instrument to screen for and detect clotting disorders, a handheld instrument for the rapid assessment of certain critical care tests and a rapid point-of-care test for Heartworm infections in dogs.

This press release includes, statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Reform Act”), including but not limited to statements related to Abaxis’ cash position, financial resources and potential for future growth, market acceptance of new or planned product offerings, process improvements and product manufacturing quality and efficiencies in future production of our products. Abaxis claims the protection of the safe-harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Reform Act. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the terms “may,” “believes,” “projects,” “expects,” “anticipates,” or words of similar import, and do not reflect historical facts. Specific forward-looking statements contained in this press release or in Abaxis’ conference call may be affected by risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those related to the market acceptance of the company’s products and the continuing development of its products, required United States Food and Drug Administration clearance and other government approvals, risks associated with manufacturing and distributing its products on a commercial scale free of defects, risks related to the introduction of new instruments manufactured by third parties, risks associated with entering the human diagnostic market on a larger scale, risks related to the protection of the company’s intellectual property or claims of infringement of intellectual property asserted by third parties, risks related to condition of the United States economy, risks involved in carrying of inventory and other risks detailed under “Risk Factors” in Abaxis’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009 and Abaxis’ other periodic reports filed from time to time with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements were made. Abaxis does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

    Contact:  Clint Severson             Lytham Partners, LLC
              Chief Executive Officer    Joe Dorame, Robert Blum and Joe Diaz
              Abaxis, Inc.               602-889-9700
              510-675-6500

SOURCE Abaxis, Inc.


Source: newswire



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