Healthcare Industry News:  blood glucose 

Devices Diagnostics Mergers & Acquisitions

 News Release - July 6, 2006

Bayer Acquires Metrika Inc.

Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care Portfolio Now Includes an Innovative Device for Self-Testing of HbA1c - the Gold Standard Indicator of Ongoing Blood Sugar Control

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., July 6 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Bayer Diabetes Care, a division of Bayer HealthCare LLC and a member of the Bayer Group (NYSE: BAY ), announced today that it has acquired Metrika Inc., a privately held company based in Sunnyvale, CA, that manufactures and markets A1CNow+®, a meter-based diabetes monitoring system that has single-use, disposable test cartridges. A1CNow+ is a pager-sized device for people with diabetes to use both at home and with their healthcare provider for monitoring of HbA1c, the clinically accepted standard measure of blood sugar control. Details of the purchase agreement were not disclosed.

"In keeping with our history of innovation in diabetes care, we are very excited to now offer people with diabetes and their healthcare providers the first and only device for use both at home as well as in the professional setting for monitoring of HbA1c, perhaps the most important indicator of blood sugar control," said Sandra Peterson, President of Bayer Diabetes Care. "The addition of A1CNow+ complements and strengthens our portfolio to include a full spectrum of products for total diabetes diagnosis and management."

Importance of HbA1c

HbA1c, also known as glycated hemoglobin, is a measure of a patient's blood sugar control over the last two to three months. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), tight glycemic control sustained over time, as measured through HbA1c scores, slows the development of diabetic complications including heart, eye, kidney and nerve diseases and even a small reduction in HbA1c is important. The HbA1c value is an index of mean blood glucose levels over the past two to three months with significant changes in the HbA1c levels due to blood sugar variability over the last 30-40 days being detectable.

About A1CNow+

The newly-released, improved A1CNow+ is a portable, easy-to-use and reliable system that provides immediate access to lab-quality NGSP* certified HbA1c results in just five minutes. This helps to improve the overall efficiency of diabetes care by reporting HbA1c values directly to the patient or during the patients' office visit eliminating absent or delayed lab results. Utilizing the integration of micro-optical technology and solid state chemistry into a proprietary monitor with disposable cartridges, A1CNow+ provides rapid HbA1c results with precision and accuracy equivalent to certified laboratories.

The test can be performed with a simple three-step procedure using finger-stick or venous blood. Fast, easy measurement of HbA1c enables people with diabetes and their healthcare providers to make immediate diabetes management decisions and to help optimize and calibrate therapy with the goal of improved outcomes.

Clinical Utility

HbA1c is formed when glucose in the blood binds irreversibly to hemoglobin to form a stable glycated hemoglobin HbA1c complex. Since the normal life span of red blood cells averages about 120 days, the HbA1c level will change as new red cells are made. HbA1c values are directly proportional to the average concentration of glucose in the blood over the past two to three months. HbA1c values are not subject to the daily fluctuations that are seen with blood sugar monitoring.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate there are 14.6 million American children and adults diagnosed with diabetes. According to the ADA, in 2005, 1.5 million new cases were diagnosed in people 20 years of age and older.

The ADA recommends that the test be performed every three months for patients who have HbA1c values at or above 7% and every six months for patients with HbA1c values below 7% as well as during treatment changes or after periods of elevated blood glucose levels. The ADA also added a recommendation for point-of-care HbA1c monitoring to their 2006 professional practice guidelines emphasizing the importance of routine real-time HbA1c monitoring of persons with diabetes.

The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) studies showed that lower HbA1c values are associated with prevention of, or significant decreases in, the development of serious eye, kidney and nerve disease.

The ADA clinical practice guidelines indicate diabetes is under control when the HbA1c result is 7% or less. The Links and Resources page of the ADA website (http://www.diabetes.org) contains several resources to assist patients and health care professionals in diabetes management.

* The A1CNow+ is certified by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP).

Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care

Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care is one of the largest self-test diagnostic businesses in the world, supporting customers in 100 countries. Since the introduction of Clinitest® reagent tablets in 1941, Bayer has led the way in diabetes care product innovation. The company changed the face of diabetes care in 1969 when it introduced the first portable blood glucose meter and test strips. Bayer HealthCare further innovated diabetes self-management by being the first company to introduce a suite of blood glucose monitors that do not require coding. The BREEZE®, CONTOUR®, and DEX® 2 blood glucose monitoring systems offer people with diabetes an unparalleled choice in diabetes management systems. Recently, the Canadian and American Arthritis Foundations granted ease-of use designation to the Breeze meter, representing the first time this type of device has been recognized as easy to use for arthritis sufferers.

Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care Division sponsors the annual Ascensia Dream Fund® contest (http://www.BayerDreamFund.com) -- a national contest for people with diabetes 18 and older to win up to $100,000 to achieve their life's dream -- whatever it may be.

Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care Division global headquarters is located in Tarrytown, New York, in the United States and operates as part of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a member of the worldwide Bayer HealthCare group.

Bayer HealthCare AG

Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. Bayer HealthCare generated sales amounting to some 9.4 billion euros and employed 33,800 people worldwide in 2005.

The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals divisions. The new Pharmaceuticals division was established on January 1, 2006, and comprises the former Biological Products and Pharmaceutical divisions. Pharmaceuticals now has three business units: Hematology/Cardiology, Oncology and Primary Care.

Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. The products enhance well-being and quality of life by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our public reports filed with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including our Form 20-F). The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.


Source: Bayer HealthCare

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