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Investment in rapid on-the-spot chemical testing

NEWS RELEASE cleveland – 1
December 11, 2005

BioPacificVentures invests in rapid on-the-spot chemical testing

BioPacificVentures, the Auckland-based NZ$100 million food, health and agbio venture capital fund, has made an investment in an Australian start-up company Cleveland Biosensors.

Cleveland has developed world-leading technology to enable high-tech lab tests to be performed rapidly and on-the-spot.

The company’s hand-held, BioFiniti™ testing device will be a vital tool for the water industry, food processors and other industrial applications where on-the-spot test results are critical. The tests being offered include toxins, residues and pathogens, where results currently take days to obtain after sending samples off to a lab.

CEO of Cleveland, Dr Brett Kettle, said: "Our technology cuts days of turnaround time down to 15 minutes. For users in time critical situations, like water treatment plants, this can mean thousands of dollars in savings by being able to process water more efficiently and accurately. On-the-spot results also mean safer drinking water."

The investment is the second by BioPacificVentures but its first in an early stage business. Last month, BioPacificVentures made its first New Zealand investment in the buy-out of New Zealand Pharmaceuticals in association with other Direct Capital funds.

BioPacificVentures' Executive Director Dr Andrew Kelly said: "The investment is the first part only of a larger and longer term investment we hope to make. We are delighted to be backing yet another new technology from this part of the world to take it on to a global stage.

“We have great respect for Cleveland’s innovation. We know this space and from our perspective it is world-class. We look forward to helping in many ways, including our strong connections to their global markets.”

Chairman of Cleveland, Mel Bridges said: "The investment was just the infusion the company needed. We have ambitions to develop the technology for a raft of valuable applications, including medical markets. We have the intellectual property; we have the talent; and now we have the first of the capital to back it.

“BioPacificVentures will contribute to our growth in many ways - not just through capital but also its connections with global market places in the food, beverage and biotech world. As well as a long courtship with the Auckland team, we have also been welcomed in Switzerland by their global fund-manager partner inventages."

Cleveland Biosensors acknowledges the contribution of funding from the Australian Government’s “Building IT Strengths” and “R&D Start” programs and from Queensland’s ISUS and teQstart programs.

About BioPacificVentures: BioPacificVentures is a $100 million life science fund focused on unlocking value from New Zealand and Australia’s food and agriculture heritage. It invests in innovative life science businesses in Australasia with a focus on prevention, nutrition and agbiotech. It is a joint venture between New Zealand’s most active venture capital and private equity investor, Direct Capital, and Crown Research Institute AgResearch and the international life science venture capital firm inventages. Nestlé and Wrightson are cornerstone investors.

ENDS

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