Press Release – October 1, 2003

Covington Associates Advises Inverness Medical Innovations On Acquisition Of Certain Assets from Abbott Laboratories

Fourth Acquisition in just over 12 Months Supports Inverness Growth in Rapid Diagnostics Market

BOSTON, Oct. 1, 2003 – Covington Associates announced today that it acted as advisor to Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc., (AMEX: IMA), in its acquisition of certain assets from Abbott Laboratories, successfully completing its fourth deal in just over one year, supporting the company’s growth strategy in the rapid diagnostics market.

Inverness Medical Innovations (“Inverness”), of Waltham, MA, purchased the rights to the Fact plus® pregnancy test and the Abbott TestPack®, Abbott TestPack plus® and Signify® lines of rapid diagnostics for various testing needs, including strep throat, pregnancy and drugs of abuse. Covington acted as financial advisor on the deal, valued at $92.5 million in cash and stock.  Covington also acted as arranger of a $135 million senior debt facility, a portion of which was used to finance the cash piece of the transaction with Abbott.

“This acquisition marks another success in a decade-long advisory partnership, and we are proud to support Inverness as it establishes a leading position in the growing market for rapid diagnostics,” said Tom Cibotti, a partner at Covington Associates, who advised Inverness on all four recent deals and several other acquisitions since its formation and that of its predecessor company, Inverness Medical Technology, Inc.

Inverness, a leading provider of consumer healthcare and professional diagnostics products and developer of advanced medical devices, acquired Applied Biotech, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of rapid diagnostic tests, in a deal that closed August 28.  On July 1, the company also acquired Ostex International, Inc., a maker of osteoporosis management products and technologies. In September 2002, Inverness purchased Wampole Laboratories, a leader in the U.S. point-of-care diagnostics market. The three deals totaled $136 million.

Cibotti said all four acquisitions should produce product and distribution synergies. The acquisition of Applied Biotech, Inc., a unit of Apogent Technologies, Inc., strengthens Inverness in the area of point-of-care rapid testing including infectious disease, women’s health and drugs of abuse. The purchase of Wampole Labs from MedPointe, Inc. offered Inverness a wide range of immunoassay-based and other diagnostic tests to hospitals, physicians and reference laboratories and advanced the company’s distribution capabilities as part of bringing innovative diagnostic products to market quickly.

Covington Associates are seasoned M&A advisors to technology and healthcare companies. Focused exclusively on mergers and acquisitions, Covington Associates has established a track record of success based on deep domain experience and an unrivaled level of service from a team of senior advisors. Since its founding in 1991, Covington Associates has successfully completed transactions ranging in value from $10 million to more than $1 billion.  For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.covingtonassociates.com.