BEDMINSTER, N.J. -- Bioject Medical Technologies Inc., a developer of needle-free drug delivery systems, announced that it has entered into three project agreements with Merial Ltd., a global animal health company.



As part of these agreements, Bioject will perform feasibility analyses for a next generation Vetjet(TM) device for the companion animal market, as well as devices for production animal and poultry markets.



Bioject and Merial, which is a joint venture between Merck & Co. and sanofi-aventis, currently have collaborations for Bioject's Vetjet(TM) product, which was commercialized in 2004, and its production animal product, which is expected to be commercialized in late 2006



Needle-free injection works by forcing medication at high speed through a tiny orifice held against the skin. This creates a fine stream of high-pressure fluid penetrating the skin and depositing medication in the tissue beneath.



Bob Nordgren, head of research, technology acquisition and North American biological development at Merial said, "We are pleased to be working with Bioject to expand the scope of needle-free technology across our pipeline of veterinary vaccines. We feel that this collaboration will further enhance our leadership position in the animal health market."



Jim O'Shea, chairman, president and CEO of Bioject, said, "We are excited and pleased to extend our relationship with Merial for existing and potential new products across the animal health market. One of Bioject's key strategic goals is to expand our existing corporate relationships and these agreements represent important milestones in achieving this objective."



Each agreement includes the payment of an upfront fee to Bioject, as well as additional payments dependent upon the achievement of specific milestones.



Bioject Medical Technologies Inc., based in Bedminster, N.J. with operations in Portland, Ore., is a developer and manufacturer of needle-free drug delivery systems. Needle-free injection works by forcing medication at high speed through a tiny orifice held against the skin. This creates a fine stream of high-pressure fluid penetrating the skin and depositing medication in the tissue beneath. The company is focused on the development of mutually beneficial agreements with leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology and veterinary companies.



Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2004 sales were in excess of $1.8 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co. Inc. and sanofi-aventis.



SOURCE: Bioject Medical Technologies Inc. via PR Newswire.