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Rockeby Market Update: Avian Bird Flu Test

Rockeby Market Update: Avian Bird Flu Test

Key Points

- Continued world wide interest in HN51 rapid diagnostics

- Distribution network strengthened globally

- Evaluation study in Hong Kong completed

Singapore and Australia. 23 January 2006: Rockeby Biomed (ASX: RBY) announced today that it has completed further distribution deals for its Avian Flu diagnostics in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

In addition to the existing distribution agreement with Cell Sciences Pte Ltd for Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Hong Kong, Rockeby has appointed the Well Heart Corporation to distribute the tests in Japan, RDS Biomed Pte Ltd to distribute the tests in India, China, Taiwan and Korea and Dowell International Pvt Ltd to distribute the products in Sri Lanka.

In Europe, agreements have been made with Nova Group to undertake registration and distribution in Romania.

“We are delighted with the swift progress we have made in extending our distribution network on a global basis.” said Dr Sze-Wee Tan, CEO of Rockeby, “As the threat of a pandemic heightens with the arrival of the virus in Turkey, we are boosting our efforts and expanding our networks to meet the increasing demand for our product.”

Product sales and shipment has already commenced to these countries and the acceptance and performance of the H5N1 diagnostics has been very encouraging.

The Avian Flu Diagnostic kits have also been sent to the Australian CSIRO Livestock Industries for evaluation.

The 300 specimen clinical evaluation trial of the veterinary Avian Flu tests in Hong Kong has been completed. This trial was being conducted jointly by the Murdoch University’s School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences together with representatives from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore and the Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong SAR Government. The results are been analysed and will available by the end of Q1 2006.

About bird flu subtype H5N1

Subtype H5N1 has been shown recently to infect humans and trigger an aggressive clinical response, causing severe disease that often proves fatal, even in previously healthy adults and children.

Influenza experts worldwide are concerned that H5N1 has met two of the three criteria for a global outbreak of bird flu in humans, or so-called 'pandemic', and many believe that it is only a matter of time before such an outbreak occurs.

The two criteria are that H5N1 is a new form of virus and it causes serious disease in humans. At this stage, it is not highly infectious and readily transmitted between humans, but mutation may change that situation.

To date, the 100 or so people known to have been infected with bird flu (about 50% of whom died as a result) have had direct contact with birds and their faeces.

Domestic ducks have become 'silent' reservoirs of the virus – they shed a high number of viral particles in their faeces, but show no symptoms of the disease.

About Rockeby biomed:

Rockeby biomed Limited is an ASX-listed (ASX: RBY) biotechnology company engaged primarily in the research, development and marketing of products for the diagnosis and treatment of fungal infections in humans. The company's main market is that of in-vitro diagnostic testing which covers serology tests in hospitals as well as point-of-care products for use by consumers or health professionals operating outside hospitals.

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