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Cepheid Awarded Three New Patents for Ultrasonic Lysis and Sample Preparation Technology

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The benefit of the concentration of cells combined with ultrasonic lysis is increased sensitivity when testing for DNA sequences that may be present in a fluid sample in only very small quantities. This technology is now being utilized in the development of clinical diagnostic tests for infectious diseases and cancer.

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SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD), today announced that it has been issued U.S. Patent No. 6,878,540 entitled "Device for Lysing Cells, Spores, or Microorganisms", U.S. Patent No. 6,881,541 entitled "Method for Analyzing a Fluid Sample", and U.S. Patent No. 6,887,693 entitled "Device and Method for Lysing Cells, Spores, or Microorganisms". The three patents cover devices and methods for sample preparation including the extraction of nucleic acid from a fluid sample using ultrasonic lysis of cells. Cepheid has incorporated this technology into its GeneXpert(R) system to provide rapid and effective preparation of nucleic acid samples that may then be used for genetic analysis and detection of microorganisms.

"Efficient lysis and recovery of nucleic acids from a variety of specimen types is one of the most challenging steps in the molecular detection of microorganisms. The ultrasonic lysis method developed by Cepheid elegantly addresses these problems, even for the most recalcitrant target organisms such as mycobacteria, staphylococci, and bacterial spores. The sensitivity and reliability of this approach has been validated in over 1.7 million anthrax detection cartridges used to date in the screening of over 27 billion pieces of mail by the U.S. Post Office," said David H. Persing, Chief Medical and Technology Officer at Cepheid.

The sample preparation technology covered by the patents provides several key advantages for extracting nucleic acid from a sample, including (1) concentration of the cells in the sample to be lysed on a solid phase material, such as a filter; and (2) highly effective ultrasonic lysis of the concentrated cells.

The benefit of the concentration of cells combined with ultrasonic lysis is increased sensitivity when testing for DNA sequences that may be present in a fluid sample in only very small quantities. This technology is now being utilized in the development of clinical diagnostic tests for infectious diseases and cancer.

About Cepheid

Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD), based in Sunnyvale, California, is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of fully integrated systems that enable genetic assessment when and where it is needed. Founded in 1996, the company is commercializing its technology and products worldwide for research, medical, and industrial applications requiring assessment of the human genome, infectious disease and biothreat agents. For more information on Cepheid please see http://www.cepheid.com. Cepheid, SmartCycler(R) and GeneXpert(R) are registered trademarks of Cepheid in the United States and other countries. Other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are not purely historical regarding Cepheid's or its management's intentions, beliefs, expectations and strategies for the future, including those relating to future product development activities and product performance. Because such statements deal with future events, they are subject to various risks and uncertainties, and actual results could differ materially from the company's current expectations. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include risks and uncertainties such as those relating to: uncertainty of market acceptance of any new products that may be developed; unforeseen research, development and manufacturing problems, which could delay the introduction of new products; unforeseen manufacturing costs; the need for additional licenses for new tests and other products and the terms of such licenses; the performance of new products; and underlying market conditions worldwide. Readers should also refer to the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Cepheid's Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2004 and in its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, each filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements and reasons why results might differ included in this release are made as of the date of this press release, based on information currently available to Cepheid, and Cepheid assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statement or reasons why results might differ.

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