updated 4/4/2011 7:17:55 AM ET 2011-04-04T11:17:55

CHATSWORTH, Calif., April 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IRIS INTERNATIONAL, INC. (Nasdaq:IRIS), a leading manufacturer of automated in-vitro diagnostics systems and consumables, and a provider of high value personalized diagnostics testing services through its CLIA certified molecular diagnostics laboratory, announced today that it has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with Fujirebio Inc., one of the largest in vitro diagnostics companies in Japan, for the co-development of the IRIS 3GEMS™ Hematology Analyzer product line.

Terms of the agreement call for Fujirebio to contribute $6 million toward the costs of the Joint Development Program, with an initial payment of $500,000 upon signing of the agreement and the balance to be paid in installments during the course of the development period based upon the achievement of certain milestones. These funds will be utilized to accelerate the 3GEMs Hematology development program, which leverages IRIS's proprietary image-based technology to automate the identification and characterization of blood cells, including an image-based expanded white blood cell differential, and is expected to significantly reduce the need for manual slide preparation and reviews.

"We are delighted with this expansion of our relationship with Fujirebio, which is currently our exclusive distributor in Japan for IRIS's series of Automated Urine Microscopy and Chemistry Analyzers," stated César García, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IRIS International. "The extension into hematology of IRIS's core expertise in automated flow imaging technology and particle recognition represents a significant opportunity and we are pleased that Fujirebio has committed to partnering with us."

About Fujirebio Inc.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Fujirebio Inc., a company of Miraca Holdings, is a leading in vitro diagnostics (IVD) company specializing in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of IVD products. Fujirebio has achieved worldwide recognition for its achievements in immunodiagnostics, particularly for infectious diseases and cancer. The Company provides IVD assay reagents and a series of fully automated analyzers, including its LUMIPULSE system based on chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay, in Japan.  For more information visit www.fujirebio.co.jp/english/index.html .

About IRIS International, Inc.

IRIS International, Inc. is a leading global in vitro diagnostics company focused on products that analyze particles and living cell forms and structures, or morphology of a variety of body fluids. The Company's products leverage its strengths in flow imaging technology, particle recognition and automation to bring efficiency to hospital and commercial laboratories. The initial applications for its technology have been in the urinalysis market and the Company is the leading worldwide provider of automated urine microscopy and chemistry systems, with an installed base of more than 3,000 systems in more than 50 countries. The Company is expanding its core imaging and morphology expertise into related markets and is developing applications in hematology and body fluids. In addition, the Company recently acquired a high complexity CLIA-certified molecular pathology laboratory offering differentiated, high value molecular diagnostic services in the rapidly growing field of personalized medicine. The laboratory provides a direct commercial channel for the Company's NADiA® ultra-sensitive nucleic acid detection immunoassay platform, with applications in oncology and infectious disease. For more information, please visit www.proiris.com .

SAFE HARBOR PROVISION

This press release contains forward-looking statements made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the Company's views on future financial performance, market growth, capital requirements, regulatory developments, new product introductions and acquisitions, and are generally identified by phrases such as "thinks," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," and similar words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently subject to uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statement. These statements are based upon, among other things, assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management, including management's own knowledge and assessment of the Company's industry, R&D initiatives, competition and capital requirements. Other factors and uncertainties that could affect the Company's forward-looking statements include, among other things, the following: identification of feasible new product initiatives, management of R&D efforts and the resulting successful development of new products and product platforms; obtaining regulatory approvals for new and enhanced products; acceptance by customers of the Company's products; integration of acquired businesses; substantial expansion of international sales; reliance on key suppliers; the potential need for changes in long-term strategy in response to future developments; future advances in diagnostic testing methods and procedures; potential changes in government regulations and healthcare policies, both of which could adversely affect the economics of the diagnostic testing procedures automated by the Company's products; rapid technological change in the microelectronics and software industries; and competitive factors, including pricing pressures and the introduction by others of new products with similar or better functionality than our products. These and other risks are more fully described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which should be read in conjunction herewith for a further discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. 

CONTACT: Cesar Garcia
         Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
         IRIS International, Inc.
         818-527-7000
         
         Ron Stabiner, The Wall Street Group, Inc.
         212-888-4848

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