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The Automation Partnership and MAIA SCIENTIFIC - a Harvard Bioscience Company - Announce Cello, a Fully Automated Cell Culture System

May 03,2004
The Automation Partnership and MAIA SCIENTIFIC - a Harvard Bioscience Company - Announce Cello, a Fully Automated Cell Culture System

ROYSTON, U.K. & GEEL, Belgium & HOLLISTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 3, 2004--The Automation Partnership (TAP) and MAIA SCIENTIFIC (formerly Union Biometrica NV - ESO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard Bioscience - HBIO, NASDAQ) have completed a collaboration to incorporate the MAIA SCIENTIFIC microscopy reader technology into TAP's Cello™ automated cell culture system. As high-throughput screening has moved from molecular based tests to tests on living cells, cell culture has become a major bottleneck. Cello addresses this new bottleneck by completely automating the cell culture and clone selection process. Cello can culture multiple cell lines in parallel throughout all stages of their life cycle, from seeding through expansion and sub-cloning. This flexible, modular system provides the throughput and capacity needed to support several projects running in parallel with minimal operator involvement.

"Cello is an extremely robust solution, allowing for improved productivity wherever cells are grown in micro-well plates," said Tim Ward, Director of Cell Culture with The Automation Partnership.

"Cello will remove the bottleneck in the generation of new stable cell lines, enabling high throughput clone selections for pharmaceutical and biotech R&D. Being able to select the cell lines with exactly the right combination of characteristics, from many more cells, and take these through further rounds of selection and sub-cloning automatically, is one of Cello's key benefits" says Ward.

"In Cello, these functions must be integrated into the automatic operation of the system as a whole", said Natalie Carrick, Cell Culture Product Manager at The Automation Partnership. "At present, this type of measurement is either done manually, or by standalone imaging and analysis units which are manually loaded and operated. After a thorough market analysis, we chose MAIA SCIENTIFIC as our partner in developing the cell reader for the Cello platform. MAIA SCIENTIFIC was the only company able to provide the optimum combination of flexibility, system availability, and imaging and analysis quality to meet our demanding specifications. This includes not only the accuracy and consistency of the derived measurements, but also the reliability of the system components and the ability of the subsystem to detect, report, and recover from exceptions."

"Cello is a new paradigm for how hardware, software, chemistry and living biology can be integrated into a complete solution to a pressing need in pharmaceutical laboratories," said Johan Geysen, President of MAIA SCIENTIFIC. "The MAIA SCIENTIFIC microscopy reader and eaZYX™ software is effectively the eyes of the integrated system."

David Green, President of Harvard Bioscience, commented "We are very pleased with the partnership we have built with TAP - one of the world's leading suppliers of automation to the pharmaceutical industry - for the development of Cello. Partnership is an essential element in our three part growth strategy of innovation, acquisition and partnership. TAP's adoption of the MAIA SCIENTIFIC platform is another endorsement of the strength of the technology. We believe the future is very bright for integrated solutions like Cello, and for high-content screening using the MAIA SCIENTIFIC microscopy reader platform."

About The Automation Partnership. The Automation Partnership (TAP) is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of advanced industrial automation solutions for the life sciences industry. TAP provides systems for automating and integrating processes for cell culture, sample management, screening and genomics applications. Over 100 TAP cell culture systems are installed at major pharmaceutical companies world-wide and these include Amgen, AstraZeneca, Aventis Pasteur, Avigen, Baxter Vaccines, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer and Roche.

TAP, founded in 1988, is a private company with headquarters near Cambridge, UK and a U.S. sales and support office in Wilmington, Delaware. The Company, which employs over 180 staff, has profitable revenue of almost $40 million and continues to grow by developing and supplying successful market driven automation products.

About MAIA SCIENTIFIC. MAIA SCIENTIFIC, (previously known as Union Biometrica NV - ESO) a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard Bioscience, develops, manufactures and markets novel instrumentation and applications for high-throughput / high information content screening. The MIAS-2™ microscopy readers and eaZYX™ imaging software offer unprecedented sensitivity, speed and flexibility, applicable across the drug discovery and development value chain. The MIAS-2™ and eaZYX™ platforms allow genomics, target validation, assay development, drug discovery and ADMET R&D programs to all be conducted on the same platform. Our assay expertise includes targets, cells, tissues, beads, bead labels and small animal organisms. For more information please visit www.maia-scientific.com.

About Harvard Bioscience. Harvard Bioscience (HBIO) is a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative, enabling tools in drug discovery research at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities and government laboratories. HBIO sells its products to thousands of researchers in 100 countries through its direct sales force, its 1,100 page catalog, various specialty catalogs and through its manufacturing operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria and Germany and sales offices in France and Canada. For more information please visit www.harvardbioscience.com.

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CONTACT: Harvard Bioscience, Inc.
David Green, 508-893-8999

SOURCE: Harvard Bioscience, Inc.

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