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Third Wave and Mitsubishi in Joint Venture for Personalized Medicine

Third Wave Technologies Inc. and Mitsubishi Corporation have formed a joint venture to accelerate the development and commercialization of clinical molecular diagnostic products and pharmacogenetics in Japan and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Third Wave develops and markets molecular diagnostic reagents for a variety of DNA and RNA analysis applications to meet the needs of our customers. The company offers a number of products based on its Invader(R) chemistry for clinical testing.

Third Wave Japan now will accelerate and expand the development of high-value clinical products for the Japanese molecular diagnostic market, in particular, and the approval of those products by the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, or PDMA. Products for hepatitis B and C viral load and genotyping, human papilloma virus, and mycobacterium are in development. In addition to these infectious disease products, Third Wave Japan anticipates developing pharmacogenetic products to improve drug safety and efficacy. Third Wave will have worldwide rights outside the Asia-Pacific region to any new technology or product developed by Third Wave Japan.

Third Wave began to establish its presence in the Japanese clinical market in 2000. Third Wave Japan and Mitsubishi expect to work together to accelerate the penetration of Invader products in Asia-Pacific clinical laboratories, particularly in Japan. Third Wave Japan expects to leverage Mitsubishi’s strength and expertise in the Asia-Pacific health care market to help expand Third Wave’s reach in the region.

The joint venture is being formed through Mitsubishi’s minority investment in Third Wave Japan. Upon closing of the investment, Mitsubishi will own approximately 14% of Third Wave Japan. CSK Holdings Corporation, through its new subsidiary CSK Institute for Sustainability, Ltd., is also investing and will own approximately 3% of Third Wave Japan. The transaction is expected to close during April 2006.

Mitsubishi Corporation is one of Japan’s largest companies, generating more than $160 billion in revenues in 2005. In the West, the company is best known for vehicles and consumer electronics. However, Mitsubishi has long been engaged in business with customers around the world in virtually every industry, including energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, food and general merchandise including forest products. Mitsubishi has made selective investments during the past several years as it has positioned itself as a global player in biotechnology. The CSK Institute of Sustainability is a newly formed subsidiary of CSK Holdings focused on personalized medicine. CSK also has made a number of successful investments in the biotechnology field in recent years, focusing on personalized medicine, in particular.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Third Wave in Japan during this period of rapid change in the Japanese medical scene, during which technology advancement is opening new opportunities in diagnostics,” said Tsunehiko Yanagihara, general manager of Mitsubishi Corporation’s Life Sciences Business Unit.

“Third Wave and our Invader chemistry have earned a strong reputation in Japan and elsewhere in the region, and we look forward to building on the relationship we have established with Mitsubishi to accelerate our growth in Asia-Pacific’s clinical molecular diagnostics market,” said Kevin T. Conroy, president and chief executive officer of Third Wave. “The commitment made by Mitsubishi and CSK to commercialize our Invader chemistry in the region, demonstrated by their investments in Third Wave, should be influential as we seek to aggressively expand our market position.”

Third Wave has a long history of innovation in Japan that is founded in its collaboration with Dr. Yusuke Nakamura of the RIKEN Institute/University of Tokyo, which dates back to 2000. Dr. Nakamura, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading genetic researchers, led Japan’s Millennium Project large-scale genotyping initiative and was the principal contributor of the International HapMap Project. Third Wave supported Dr. Nakamura on these and other efforts. In addition, Third Wave has had, since 2000, a product development and commercialization agreement with BML Inc. of Tokyo, a major clinical reference laboratory in Japan.

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