GE Healthcare and EKA Chemicals enter into distribution alliance in Japan
Uppsala, Sweden, and Bohus, Sweden, August 2005

Eka Chemicals, an Akzo Nobel company, and Amersham Biosciences, a GE Healthcare company, announce that the companies have entered into an agreement for the distribution of EKA Chemicals' Kromasil chromatography media and columns in Japan.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amersham Biosciences will be the sole distributor of EKA Chemicals' Kromasil products in Japan.

Kromasil® is a silica-based high performance chromatography media, designed to meet the highest demands in HPLC, SFC and SMB, from analytical to process scale. A sophisticated manufacturing technology ensures batch to batch reproducibility, very high mechanical stability, and excellent chromatographic performance. Moreover, the modification process of the silica surface results in excellent chemical stability under various pH conditions, demonstrated by the ability of the material to withstand chromatography or cleaning procedures under harsh conditions.

By adding Kromasil media to the existing product portfolio, Amersham Biosciences KK aim to strengthen its existing product portfolio in the support of proteins and peptides purification in Lab. Separation markets and downstream processing in the biopharmaceutical market. In addition, Amersham Biosciences KK will be able to expand its market to small molecules purification market for the Pharmaceutical companies by providing cost effective manufacturing solutions.
Eka Chemicals have recently introduced a Kromasil wide pore silica, aimed for larger peptides and proteins, and will, through the alliance with Amersham Biosciences in Japan, access the fast-growing bioscience market, in addition to the pharmaceutical and smaller peptide market, where Kromasil traditionally has a strong position. Amersham Biosciences have established a strong marketing and sales network in Japan, which will ensure an efficient distribution network for Kromasil media and columns.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies that are shaping a new age of patient care. GE Healthcare's expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, disease research, drug discovery and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is dedicated to detecting disease earlier and tailoring treatment for individual patients. GE Healthcare offers a broad range of services to improve productivity in healthcare and enable healthcare providers to better diagnose, treat and manage patients with conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer's and cardiovascular diseases.
GE Healthcare is a $14 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) that is headquartered in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 42,500 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit www.gehealthcare.com
About Eka Chemicals
Eka Chemicals, Bohus, Sweden, with 3,070 employees in 30 countries, is a business unit within Akzo Nobel. Turnover 2004 amounted to EUR 980 million. Eka Chemicals is a leading supplier of bleaching chemicals, paper chemicals and systems to the pulp and paper industry throughout the world, and supplies certain specialty chemicals to the pharmaceuticals industry, water treatment, and the electronics industry.
Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, is an international company serving customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings, and chemicals. The company currently employs about 62,000 people in over 80 countries. In 2004, consolidated sales totaled EUR 12.7 billion.
For more information on Kromasil, Eka Chemicals or Akzo Nobel, please feel free to explore our websites: www.kromasil.com; www.eka.com; www.akzonobel.com