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OraSure Technologies Applauds CDC Proposed Draft Guidelines for Testing of Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C

Draft Recommendations Call for HCV Testing of All Persons Born Between 1945 and 1965

BETHLEHEM, Pa., May 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OraSure Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:OSUR) today issued a statement in strong support of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) draft guidelines proposing that all U.S. baby boomers get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The CDC issued a press release ( earlier today proposing that all persons born between 1945 and 1965 – approximately 81 million according to the 2010 Census – be tested for HCV. CDC's draft recommendations will be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, May 22, and will be made available for public comment until June 8.

The CDC also announced the release of a $6.5 million funding opportunity announcement to expand testing of hepatitis.

According to the CDC, identifying hepatitis C infections early will allow more baby boomers to receive care and treatment, before they develop life threatening liver disease. The CDC believes that one in 30 baby boomers has been infected with hepatitis C, and most don't know it. They estimate that more than 2 million U.S. baby boomers are infected with HCV and are five times more likely to be infected than other adults. Hepatitis C causes serious liver diseases including liver cancer, which is the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths, and the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States, according to the agency.

"Hepatitis C can now be more effectively treated in a high percentage of people with HCV infection, making expanded testing – particularly among the baby boomer generation– a critical step in fighting this insidious epidemic," said Douglas A. Michels, President and CEO of OraSure Technologies.

OraQuick® HCV is the only FDA-approved rapid, point-of-care test for the detection of antibodies to the hepatitis C virus utilizing fingerstick and venipuncture whole blood specimens in persons with signs or symptoms of hepatitis and in persons at risk for hepatitis C infection. The test, which utilizes the OraQuick® technology platform, provides results in 20 minutes.

About OraSure Technologies

OraSure Technologies is a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of oral fluid diagnostic and collection devices and other technologies designed to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions. Its innovative products include rapid tests for the detection of antibodies to HIV and HCV at the point of care and testing solutions for detecting various drugs of abuse. In addition, the Company is a leading provider of oral fluid sample collection, stabilization and preparation products for molecular diagnostic applications. OraSure's portfolio of products is sold globally to various clinical laboratories, hospitals, clinics, community-based organizations and other public health organizations, research and academic institutions, distributors, government agencies, physicians' offices, and commercial and industrial entities. The Company's products enable healthcare providers to deliver critical information to patients, empowering them to make decisions to improve and protect their health.  

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CONTACT: Jennifer Moritz
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OraSure Technologies, Inc.

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