Axis-Shield Acknowledges World Diabetes Day and Provides an Update on its Growing Diabetes Franchise in Emerging Markets

By Axis-shield Plc, PRNE
Saturday, November 13, 2010

DUNDEE, Scotland, November 14, 2010 - Axis-Shield plc (LSE:ASD, OSE:ASD) ("Axis-Shield" or the
"Company"), the international and innovative in vitro diagnostics company,
today announces its participation in World Diabetes Day, a global campaign
led by the International Diabetes Foundation to engage people in diabetes
advocacy and awareness. Diabetes Education and Prevention is the World
Diabetes Day theme for the period 2009-2013 and the campaign slogan for 2010
is 'Let's take control of diabetes Now.' The Axis-Shield Point-of-Care
("PoC") offices in Oslo and Dundee will mark the day with a number of
initiatives across its global sites and have encouraged all Axis-Shield
subsidiaries and distributors to do the same. Axis-Shield is present in 80
countries around the world and continues to broaden its global presence
through the growth of its important diabetes testing franchise.

Diabetes presents a growing burden on the world's economy and
will shift the drive to PoC testing in emerging markets, regions where
Axis-Shield is well positioned to be part of this change with its highly
innovative Afinion(TM) and NycoCard(R) PoC diagnostic HbA1c tests for
diabetes. HbA1c is clinically recognised as the key marker for diabetes
management[1], reflecting how well the patient has managed blood glucose
levels over the preceding three months and is the fastest growing segment of
the global PoC test market.

A key driver of growth for Axis-Shield is its presence in
emerging markets where the Company's high-quality and established NycoCard(R)
test platform for HbA1c is extremely well suited to diabetes management,
offering simple, accurate and fast testing at the PoC. Axis-Shield is
investing in developing its brand in emerging markets and regularly hosts
educational workshops, seminars and other marketing activities with its
distribution partners and via collaborations with pharmaceutical companies in
certain regions to increase awareness of the need for regular testing and
management of diabetes.

At present, Axis-Shield's emerging market strategy is focused
on the establishment and growth of PoC for diabetes in the top five emerging
markets; China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil. India has the highest
population of people affected by diabetes globally[2] and a recent study
published in the New England Journal of Medicine has demonstrated that
diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in China[3]. Axis-Shield is also
replicating this strategy in other areas in which diabetes prevalence is
increasing quickly, notably Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Russia and the Middle

Axis-Shield has strengthened its sales team during 2010 to
include a locally-based Area Manager in Latin America with responsibility for
broadening the Company's presence and establishing PoC testing regimes in
nascent territories. In addition, Axis-Shield has also recruited an Area
Manager with an appreciation of the relevant cultures to spearhead growth in
Africa and the Middle East.


Axis-Shield opened a representative office in China in 2009
and is committed to the growth of its regional franchise through the addition
of up to 18 regional dealers in 2011 to utilize NycoCard(R) and Afinion(TM)
PoC testing potential. China's population is expected to reach 1.4bn by the
end of 2010 but it only currently accounts for 4% of the global in vitro
diagnostics ("IVD") market. The PoC testing market is growing rapidly, driven
by the Chinese Government's decision to provide acceptable healthcare to
people living in small cities and rural areas. The adoption of HbA1c usage in
the diagnosis of diabetes will also push the development of the HbA1c testing


The Indian Government is focused on improving healthcare,
highlighted by its launch in 2005 of the national Rural Health Mission. Both
Axis-Shield's Afinion(TM) and NycoCard(R) systems are positioned to aid
physicians in addressing growing diabetes issues. NycoCard(R) is already a
market leader in PoC diagnostic testing in India and with increasing demand
for better and effective healthcare particular in the cities, Afinion(TM)
will be a driver in the HbA1c PoC testing.

Latin America

The prevalence of diabetes in Latin America is increasing and
there is a rapidly growing need for immediate HbA1c results, improved patient
care and healthcare savings due to the impact of realising cost efficiencies
and the awareness of long-term diabetes complications. Axis-Shield will
launch Afinion(TM) in Mexico in late 2010 and Brazil will follow in 2011 as
part of its strategy to strengthen the current PoC markets which are in their
infancy. NycoCard(R) already has a strong market position in Mexico and
established successful partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and
healthcare providers through our local partner. This has focused on
addressing the need to offer innovative access to PoC testing and the Company
has had particular success in the workplace, through the use of mobile
testing sites. Axis-Shield and its partners will continue the roll-out of
this strategy throughout Latin America.


Africa offers a vast potential market for Axis-Shield as it
seeks to broaden its presence beyond the Northern region into West Africa.
The political and economic climate is improving in these regions and there is
a growing awareness of the need to offer greatly improved healthcare

Middle East

The Middle Eastern healthcare market is showing encouraging
regional signs of improvement and the NycoCard(R) market is already growing
with significant room for growth in this high value market remaining
apparent. Axis-Shield's strategy to market NycoCard(R) in the Gulf countries
is already delivering promising results. The Company also sees significant
market potential for Afinion(TM).

Other emerging markets

Axis-Shield has demonstrated recent sales penetration and the
potential for growth in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Malaysia where there is a
high incidence of diabetes and currently a centralized testing strategy with
demand for PoC testing via NycoCard(R) increasing.

Commenting on today's announcement, Ian Gilham, Chief
Executive Officer of Axis-Shield, said: "Axis-Shield is pleased to be a
provider of diabetes Point of Care testing in emerging markets where there is
a huge unmet medical need to deliver patient care of the highest quality. Our
established infrastructure and broad product offering via Afinion(TM) and
NycoCard(R) positions us as a pioneer of HbA1c testing solutions globally and
we remain focused on raising awareness of the need for accurate testing and

"Whilst the concept of HbA1c Point of Care testing is still in
its infancy in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, we are
committed to investing in emerging markets and are focused on growth in these
important markets and disease area."

Notes for Editors

About Axis-Shield

Axis-Shield ( is an international
and innovative in vitro diagnostics company, headquartered in Dundee with R&D
and manufacturing bases in Dundee and Oslo. The Group specialises in the
supply of instruments and tests for the rapidly growing physician's office
testing market and the development, manufacture and marketing of innovative
proprietary diagnostics kits in areas of clinical need, including
cardiovascular and neurological diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.

About Afinion(TM)

Afinion(TM) is a new concept in Point of Care - a
multiparameter rapid analyser system with minimal user input and sample
handling. Afinion(TM) is designed to enable on-the-spot testing, using whole
blood, plasma or urine samples, and to deliver accurate results during
patient consultation for improved patient management. The analyser and test
cartridges have been precision engineered by external organisations according
to Axis-Shield designs and specifications, with each test cartridge
containing an integrated sample collection device and all necessary reagents
for one single analysis. By the end of 2010 the Company expects to have
placed 10,000 systems globally.

About NycoCard(R)

The NycoCard(R) System is Axis-Shield's most widely
distributed product range particularly suited to countries with developing
healthcare systems. It represents a versatile, low-cost package designed to
deliver reliable testing for certain key markers, in the presence of the
patient. The system offers four selected PoC tests: CRP, HbA1c, D-Dimer and
U-Albumin. They can all be analysed on the same instrument - the NycoCard
Reader II. The Reader is a small portable battery-powered instrument designed
for rapid and reliable measurement using NycoCard(R) tests. It consists of
two units: the instrument box, which is the operational and calculating unit,
and the Reader pen, which detects the signal. Globally there are a large
number of installed systems and Axis-Shield estimates over 40,000 units are
currently in operation.


    [1] The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group. The
        effect of intensive treatment of diabetes on the development and
        progression of long term complications in insulin-dependent diabetes
        mellitus. N Engl J Med 1993;329:977-86.
    [2] International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes Atlas, 4th edition.
    [3] New England Journal of Medicine, Prevalence of Diabetes among Men and
        Women in China. 362; 12, March 25, 2010
    For further enquiries, please contact:

    Axis-Shield plc
    Ian Gilham, Chief Executive Officer
    Ronny Hermansen, Finance Director                   Tel: +44-203-178-784 

    Mary-Jane Elliott / Emma Thompson /
    Amber Bielecka                                      Tel: +44-207-920-2330
    Geelmuyden Kiese (Norway)
    Hakon Ronning                                        Tel: +47-48-18-88-00

For futher enquiries, please contact: Axis-Shield plc, Ian Gilham, Chief Executive Officer, Ronny
Hermansen, Finance Director, Tel: +44-203-178-7849; M:Communications, Mary-Jane Elliott / Emma Thompson / Amber Bielecka, Tel: +44-207-920-2330, E-mail: axisshield at;
Geelmuyden Kiese (Norway), Hakon Ronning, Tel: +47-48-18-88-00

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