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ENZO Biochem Announces Favorable Judgment by U.S. Patent Office in an Interference Against Bayer Healthcare For A Universal Diagnostic Detection System

NEW YORK, NY, March 1, 2010 – Enzo Biochem, Inc., (NYSE:ENZ) today announced that the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences of the United States Patent and Trademark Office has entered judgment in favor of Enzo and against Bayer HealthCare LLC in a patent interference proceeding relating to Enzo Life Science’s application for nucleic acid signal amplification and Bayer’s U.S. Patent No. 5,124,246.
Subject to any requests for rehearing or appeals that Bayer might file, the effect of this judgment is that Enzo will receive a full seventeen year patent for all the inventions covered by its claims, which term will commence on the date of issuance of the patent.
“This technology is the basis for several significant products in clinical diagnostics and in the life sciences field which are currently marketed or licensed by various commercial entities,” said Barry Weiner, President of Enzo.
According to trade reports, industry-wide annual sales of diagnostic products utilizing the nucleic acid signal amplification technology are estimated to exceed $100 million in the United States alone.
Using Enzo’s signal amplification technology, direct detection of nucleic acid can be carried out without the need for target amplification and without compromising the sensitivity of the detection assay.
Enzo developed its signal amplification technology in the early 1980s, filing its original patent application on May 5, 1983.  The Patent Office granted a patent to Chiron Corporation (later acquired by Bayer Healthcare) in 1992, although Chiron’s application was originally filed on October 15, 1987, nearly four and one-half years after Enzo’s original filing date.  An interference proceeding was declared by the Patent Office on August 7, 2006 to determine, as between Enzo and Bayer Healthcare, who made the invention first.  The Diagnostics Division of Bayer HealthCare, which has since been acquired by Siemens Medical Solutions, produces the “VERSANT® Branched DNA (bDNA) Assays” that utilizes the technology whose claim has now been resolved in Enzo’s favor by the interference judgment.
About Enzo
Enzo Biochem, Inc., is a growth-oriented integrated life sciences and biotechnology company focused on harnessing biological process to develop research tools, diagnostics and therapeutics, and serves as a provider of test services, including exotic tests, to the medical community.  Since our founding in 1976, our strategic focus has been on the development of enabling technologies in the life sciences field.  Enzo Life Sciences develops, produces and markets proprietary labeling and detection products for gene sequencing, genetic analysis and immunological research, among others. Its catalog of over 40,000 products serve the molecular biology, drug discovery and pathology research markets worldwide.  Enzo Clinical Labs division provides laboratory services for a growing roster of physicians in the New York Metropolitan area, as well as parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Its tests include, in addition to routine tests, capabilities for detecting molecular infection disease, molecular oncology, autoimmune disorders and genetics.  Enzo Clinical Labs also provides clinical diagnostic services that allow Enzo to capitalize on its extensive advanced molecular and cytogenetic capabilities and the broader trends in predictive and personalized diagnostics.  Enzo Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical venture that has developed multiple novel approaches in the areas of gastrointestinal, infectious, ophthalmic and metabolic diseases.  It has focused its efforts on developing treatment regimens for diseases and conditions for which current treatment options are ineffective, costly, and/or cause unwanted side effects.  In the course of the company’s research and development activities, Enzo has developed a substantial portfolio of intellectual property assets, with 249 issued patents worldwide and over 200 pending patent applications.
Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this news release may be considered "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements include declarations regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and its management. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could materially affect actual results. The Company disclaims any obligations to update any forward-looking statement as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.
     For: Enzo Biochem, Inc.
     Steven Anreder, 212-532-3232       or    Michael Wachs, CEOcast, Inc., 212-732-4300