Celera and LabCorp(R) Announce Licensing Agreement to Commercialize Breast Cancer Testing Essays



    ROCKVILLE, MD, and BURLINGTON, NC, April 25 /CNW/ -- Celera (NYSE:   CRA),
an Applera Corporation business, and Laboratory Corporation of America(R)
Holdings (LabCorp(R)) (NYSE:   LH), a national leader in esoteric and oncology
testing, today announced that they have signed an agreement granting LabCorp a
license to Celera's breast cancer metastasis and estrogen/progesterone
receptor discoveries. The license agreement allows LabCorp to select from
among Celera's genomic findings to develop and commercialize two molecular
oncology laboratory service tests. LabCorp plans to offer one test to help
predict the risk of metastasis in early stage breast cancer patients, and a
second test to provide a molecular assessment of hormonal receptor status,
which is used to select women for endocrine therapy.
    The tests that LabCorp plans to offer based on Celera's findings may
provide information that is distinct from that predicted by routine clinical
assessment tools, such as tumor grade, as well as quantify risk for metastasis
for variable time periods rather than only categorically for five or 10 years.
Many of the discoveries licensed to LabCorp under this agreement are involved
in the p53 tumor suppressor signaling pathways and are implicated in cancer
proliferation.
    Under the terms of the agreement, LabCorp will pay Celera an up-front
license fee and royalties on net sales of laboratory service tests performed
by LabCorp that incorporate Celera's discoveries. Further financial details
were not disclosed.
    "This license agreement with Celera strategically complements our
innovative and extensive pipeline of diagnostic services and reinforces our
strong commitment to genetic and molecular oncology testing," said Myla P.
Lai-Goldman, M.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and
Medical Director of LabCorp. "Applying Celera's findings in breast cancer to
the development of new tests supports our ever-growing menu of esoteric and
genomic tests, and underscores our commitment to bring relevant clinical tests
to market."
    "We are pleased to have entered into this agreement with LabCorp, which
has a track record of introducing new testing services that improve patient
management," said Kathy Ordonez, President of Celera. "LabCorp shares our
belief that Celera's breast cancer discoveries could have a beneficial effect
on hundreds of thousands of women living with the uncertainty of breast cancer
recurrence."
    "Fulfilling significant, unmet medical needs by offering tests that help
physicians better serve their patients is fundamental to LabCorp's mission,"
said David P. King, Chief Executive Officer of LabCorp. "By combining our
scientific expertise with our national network, we can help ensure that health
care providers and their patients have the broadest access to high-value,
medically important new tests."

    About Celera's Breast Cancer Discoveries

    Celera's discoveries were described at the American Society of Clinical
Oncology meeting in June 2006 and involved multiple genes predicting distant
metastatic risk in node-negative, early stage, estrogen receptor positive
(ER+) breast cancer in untreated research subjects. The use of untreated
research subjects provides insight into the natural history of breast cancer
and provides results applicable to different treatment regimens. Subsequent
presentations at scientific meetings(1) described the utility of Celera's
breast cancer findings in Tamoxifen-treated patients. The use of FFPE
(formalin fixed paraffin embedded) sections permits the same procedure to be
used for both archival tumor specimens and routinely prepared tumor sections.
    The genomic findings Celera licensed to LabCorp were discovered in
collaboration with scientists at the University of California at San
Francisco, the University of Muenster and Hamburg in Germany, Guy's and St.
Thomas Hospitals in London, United Kingdom, and Rosetta Inpharmatics, a
subsidiary of Merck. Celera is pursuing this breast cancer program as part of
its strategic alliance with Abbott.

    About Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, other than skin
cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung
cancer. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million
people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year worldwide. It is
estimated that more than 40,000 deaths will occur from breast cancer each year
in the United States. The death rates from breast cancer declined
significantly between 1992 and 1996, with the largest decreases among younger
women. Medical experts attribute the decline in breast cancer deaths to
earlier detection and more effective treatments.

    About Applera Corporation and Celera

    Applera Corporation consists of two operating groups. Celera is primarily
a molecular diagnostics business that is using proprietary genomics and
proteomics discovery platforms to identify and validate novel diagnostic
markers, and is developing diagnostic products based on these markers as well
as other known markers. Celera maintains a strategic alliance with Abbott for
the development and commercialization of molecular, or nucleic acid-based,
diagnostic products, and it is also developing new diagnostic products outside
of this alliance. Through its genomics and proteomics research efforts, Celera
is also discovering and validating therapeutic targets, and it is seeking
strategic partnerships to develop therapeutic products based on these
discovered targets. The Applied Biosystems Group serves the life science
industry and research community by developing and marketing instrument-based
systems, consumables, software, and services. Customers use these tools to
analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), small molecules, and proteins to make
scientific discoveries and develop new pharmaceuticals. Applied Biosystems'
products also serve the needs of some markets outside of life science
research, which we refer to as "applied markets," such as the fields of: human
identity testing (forensic and paternity testing); biosecurity, which refers
to products needed in response to the threat of biological terrorism and other
malicious, accidental, and natural biological dangers; and quality and safety
testing, for example in food and the environment. Applied Biosystems is
headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of over $1.9 billion
during fiscal 2006. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports
and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, is available at http://www.applera.com, or by telephoning
800.762.6923. Information about Celera is available at www.celera.com.

    About LabCorp(R)

    Laboratory Corporation of America(R) Holdings, a S&P 500 company, is a
pioneer in commercializing new diagnostic technologies and the first in its
industry to embrace genomic testing. With annual revenues of $3.6 billion in
2006, over 25,000 employees nationwide, and more than 220,000 clients, LabCorp
offers clinical assays ranging from routine blood analyses to HIV and genomic
testing. LabCorp combines its expertise in innovative clinical testing
technology with its Centers of Excellence: The Center for Molecular Biology
and Pathology, in Research Triangle Park, NC; National Genetics Institute,
Inc. in Los Angeles, CA; ViroMed Laboratories, Inc. based in Minneapolis, MN;
The Center for Esoteric Testing in Burlington, NC; DIANON Systems, Inc. based
in Stratford, CT; US LABS based in Irvine, CA; and Esoterix and its Colorado
Coagulation, Endocrine Sciences, and Cytometry Associates laboratories.
LabCorp clients include physicians, government agencies, managed care
organizations, hospitals, clinical labs, and pharmaceutical companies. To
learn more, visit www.LabCorp.com.

    Applera Forward-Looking Statements

    Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may
be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as
"believe," "plan," and "should," among others. These forward-looking
statements are based on Applera Corporation's current expectations. The
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for
such forward- looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the
safe harbor, Applera notes that a variety of factors could cause actual
results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or
other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors
include but are not limited to: (1) Celera's unproven ability to discover,
develop, or commercialize proprietary diagnostic products; (2) the risk that
studies or trials of products that Celera does discover and develop will not
proceed as anticipated or may not be successful, or that such products will
not receive required regulatory clearances or approvals; (3) the uncertainty
that Celera's products will be accepted and adopted by the market, including
the risk that these products will not be competitive with products offered by
other companies, or that users will not be entitled to receive adequate
reimbursement for these products from third party payors such as private
insurance companies and government insurance plans; (4) legal, ethical, and
social issues which could affect demand for Celera's products; and (5) other
factors that might be described from time to time in Applera's filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release
is as of the date of the release, and Applera does not undertake any duty to
update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless
required by law.

    LabCorp Forward-looking Statements

    Each of the above LabCorp forward-looking statements is subject to change
based on various important factors, including without limitation, competitive
actions in the marketplace and adverse actions of governmental and other
third-party payors. Actual results could differ materially from those
suggested by these forward-looking statements. Further information on
potential factors that could affect LabCorp's financial results is included in
the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, and subsequent
SEC filings.

    
    (1) Association for the Advancement of Cancer Research's Oncogenomics
        2007 conference, Phoenix, AZ, and the 24th annual Miami Breast Cancer
        Conference in Miami Beach, FL, both in February 2007.
    





For further information:

For further information: David Speechly, Ph.D., of Celera,
+1-510-749-1853, or David.Speechly@celera.com; or Media, Pam Sherry,
+1-336-436-4855, or sherryp@labcorp.com, or Investors, Scott Fleming,
+1-336-436-4879, or Investor@labcorp.com, both of LabCorp Web Site:
http://www.labcorp.com; http://www.celera.com; http://www.applera.com

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