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News Release

Abbott Laboratories Completes Acquisition of TheraSense

April 6, 2004 at 8:03 AM EDT
-- Strengthens Abbott's Presence in Growing Blood Glucose Monitoring Market --

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Apr 6, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) today announced it has completed the acquisition of TheraSense, Inc. following approval by holders of a majority of TheraSense common stock yesterday in Oakland, Calif. TheraSense stockholders will receive $27 in cash per share. The transaction is valued at approximately $1.2 billion. TheraSense will be combined with Abbott's MediSense business to form Abbott Diabetes Care.

"This transaction allows us to better serve the needs of people with diabetes through advanced technology, a broader product line, a promising pipeline and critical mass in research, development, sales and marketing," said Ed Fiorentino, president, Abbott Diabetes Care. "And the global reach of the MediSense organization will now give TheraSense products a greater international presence and infrastructure."

TheraSense, based in Alameda, Calif., develops, manufactures and markets FreeStyle(R) blood glucose self-monitoring systems, and is a leader in developing systems that feature a very small sample size, rapid test results and less painful testing.

"By combining TheraSense and MediSense, we will be able to significantly strengthen Abbott's presence in the rapidly growing blood glucose monitoring business," said Fiorentino. The organization plans to continue to promote both the MediSense and TheraSense products and brands. In addition, the new combined organization will be headquartered in Alameda, Calif.

Abbott Diabetes Care will add to the already significant presence Abbott has in the state of California, with more than 2,000 people currently employed there.

The World Health Organization estimates there are 185 million people with diabetes worldwide with only 40 percent diagnosed and treated. This number is expected to grow to 500 million by 2025 due to aging populations, sedentary lifestyles and increasing obesity. The estimated $5 billion blood glucose monitoring market is projected to grow approximately 10 percent compounded annually.

Abbott entered the blood glucose monitoring field with the acquisition of MediSense in 1996. MediSense was the first company to commercialize biosensor technology and grew rapidly with its product, Precision QID(R). Today, MediSense continues to offer additional innovative products such as Precision Xtra(TM), the first blood glucose monitor to offer ketone testing, and Precision PCx(TM), a hand-held, point-of-care blood glucose monitoring system used in the hospital setting. Each day, Abbott MediSense's products help more than 2.5 million people manage diabetes around the world.

TheraSense's entry into the field of diabetes testing began in mid-2000 with the launch of its FreeStyle(R) blood glucose monitoring system. The company's FreeStyle system has a very small sample size requirement (0.3 microliter), which is 50-90 percent less than most conventional testing systems. This permits finger testing or less painful alternate site testing on the forearm, upper arm, thigh, calf and base of the hand. In October 2003, TheraSense launched its FreeStyle Flash(TM) blood glucose monitoring system. FreeStyle Flash combines the world's smallest glucose meter with a very small sample size, a fast test time of about seven seconds, a backlit panel display, a lighted test strip port for easy testing at night or in other low light conditions and four customizable daily alarms.

TheraSense recently submitted a Premarket Approval Application (PMA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its FreeStyle Navigator(TM) Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor. FreeStyle Navigator is designed to provide real time glucose data, hypo- and hyperglycemic alarms and trend analysis. FreeStyle Navigator utilizes TheraSense's patented Wired Enzyme(TM) technology and is designed to measure glucose levels in the patient's interstitial fluid every 60 seconds and transmit the results to a wireless pager-sized receiver that may be worn on a belt or carried in a pocket or purse.

The CozMore(TM) Insulin Technology System is being developed by TheraSense in conjunction with Deltec, Inc., a leading provider of infusion systems, and is pending approval by the FDA. This system helps people with diabetes take charge of their daily diabetes management by combining the TheraSense blood glucose testing system and insulin delivery options in a small system that is designed to be easy to use.

Additional information about TheraSense is available at . Additional information about MediSense Products is available at .

About Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories is a global, diversified health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 70,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. In 2003, the company's sales were $19.7 billion.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at .

   Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 -- A Caution Concerning
                          Forward-Looking Statements

Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Abbott cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Exhibit 99.1 of our 2003 Annual Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K and are incorporated by reference. Abbott undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as the result of subsequent events or developments.

SOURCE Abbott Laboratories

Media, Heidi Calkins, +1-847-938-8332, or Melissa Brotz,
+1-847-935-3456, or Financial Community, Christy Wistar, +1-847-938-4475, all
of Abbott Laboratories
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