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Bayer Diagnostics launches VERSANT 400 Molecular System in Europe


Monday - September 18, 2006 - Leverkusen – Bayer HealthCare, Diagnostics Division, a member of the Bayer Group (NYSE: BAY), today announced its new VERSANT™ 440 molecular system has been released for sale in Europe. VERSANT 440 is a next-generation, automated branched DNA (bDNA) molecular system for viral load testing of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) in serum and blood plasma.

Bayer’s new VERSANT 440 system provides an easy-to-use molecular testing platform suitable for the general hospital and molecular laboratory. Its touch screen interface and complete “load and go” bDNA automation includes on-board temperature control of assay reagents, on-board preparation of several assay reagents and automated delivery of all assay reagents to the micro wells. These features significantly reduce hands-on time and improve workflow and testing flexibility for mid- to high-volume laboratories. VERSANT 440 system processes 12-168 patient samples per-run and is compatible with an LIS through the Bayer bi-directional interface.

“This addition allows us to offer a more robust portfolio with complete bDNA automation to the molecular diagnostics marketplace in Europe,” said Tony Bihl, President, Bayer Diagnostics. “VERSANT 440 system reinforces Bayer Diagnostics’ focus on satisfying the needs of hospitals and molecular laboratories.”

Bayer’s VERSANT 400 system received CE (European Conformity) marking, a declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation.

Bayer HealthCare

Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the health care and medical products industry based in Leverkusen/Germany. In 2005, the Bayer HealthCare subgroup generated sales amounting to some 9.4 billion Euro. Bayer HealthCare employed 33.800 people worldwide in 2005.

The company combines the global activities of the divisions Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals. Since January 1, 2006 the new Pharmaceutical Division consists of the former Biological Products and Pharmaceutical Division and now comprises three business units: Hematology/Cardiology, Oncology and Primary Care.

Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. The products enhance well-being and quality of life by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our public reports filed with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including our Form 20-F).The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.


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