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Abaxis Makes $2.8 Million Equity Investment in Scandinavian Micro Biodevices APS

UNION CITY, Calif., Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Abaxis, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABAX), a medical products company manufacturing point-of-care blood analysis instruments for the medical, research and veterinary markets, announced today a $2.8 million equity investment in Scandinavian Micro Biodevices APS, ("SMB"), a privately-held developer and manufacturer of point-of-care diagnostic products for veterinary use.

SMB, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, has been the original equipment manufacturer of the Abaxis VetScan VSpro point-of-care specialty analyzer since 2008.  The VSpro assists in the diagnosis and evaluation of suspected bleeding disorders and is used routinely prior to surgery.  Additionally, the instrument now provides automated equine fibrinogen testing, an assay used to measure and monitor inflammation in horses.  

Abaxis has had exclusive distribution rights for the analyzer and associated cartridges in North America since 2008.  Starting in 2011 Abaxis will have non-exclusive rights in other areas of the world.

"Abaxis is very pleased to work with SMB's talented management and operations team," commented Clint Severson, Chief Executive Officer and President of Abaxis, Inc. "We believe that SMB offers innovative diagnostic solutions in veterinary medicine.  The investment in SMB will benefit both companies in serving the animal health marketplace.  We look forward to a mutually beneficial collaboration."

Vladimir Ostoich, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Pacific Rim and a co-founder of Abaxis, will become a member of the Board of Directors of SMB. "SMB is well positioned for worldwide growth in the veterinary diagnostics market with its proprietary micro fluidic technology," said Mr. Ostoich. "The enhanced partnership further aligns Abaxis' goals with those of SMB and offers the opportunity to further expand the penetration of the VetScan VSpro analyzer internationally."  

"The VetScan VSpro has greatly complemented our VetScan products in the past two years.  Looking ahead, there is much more the two companies can do together to advance our mutual interests.  The synergies are clear and compelling," added Martin Mulroy, Vice President Sales and Marketing for North American Animal Health.

SMB's Chief Executive Officer, Ole Kring, commented, "We are pleased that Abaxis has made this strategic investment in SMB and we look forward to a continued strengthening of our working relationship.  At the same time we are extending and expanding our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) agreement which provides SMB, with its unique "lab-on-a-chip" technology, access to many new customers through Abaxis' strong sales and marketing channels."

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 specialty instrument to screen for and detect clotting disorders and to measure equine fibrinogen levels, a handheld instrument for the rapid assessment of certain critical care tests and a rapid point of care test for Heartworm infections in dogs.

About Scandinavian Micro Biodevices (SMB)SMB is dedicated to providing the veterinary profession with cutting edge diagnostic products through a combination of instruments and disposable lab-on-a-chip cartridges.  The products are designed for use at the "point of care" by veterinarians and technicians working with companion animals.

The company is located in the Medicon Valley area of Copenhagen, Denmark, where it has a 20,000 square foot development and production facility, with a multi-disciplinary team covering areas such as microtechnology, microfluidic design, biochemistry, injection molding, process technology and sales and marketing.

Historically the company has developed lab-on-a-chip diagnostic products for human "point of care" testing as part of Alere Inc. (formerly Inverness Medical Innovations).  A management buy-out in January 2007 established SMB as a company dedicated to supplying new innovative "point of care" diagnostic products to the veterinary profession.

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").  Abaxis claims the protection of the safe-harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Reform Act.  These forward-looking statements are characterized by terms such as "offers," "opportunity," "positioned," and words of similar import, and do not reflect historical facts.  Specific forward-looking statements contained in this press release may be affected by risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those related to SMB's financial position and results of operations and risks associated with competing in the veterinary diagnostic market.  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, LLCChief Executive Officer

Joe Dorame, Robert Blum and Joe DiazAbaxis, Inc.


SOURCE Abaxis, Inc.
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