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Patterson Companies Announces Strategic Partnership with Abaxis

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Patterson Companies, Inc. (Nasdaq:PDCO), at its annual investor day, this morning announced a new strategic partnership with Abaxis, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ABAX), a medical products company that manufactures point-of-care blood instrumentation and consumables to the medical, research and veterinary markets. Under the terms of the agreement, Patterson will sell the full line of Abaxis veterinary diagnostic products, including external reference lab services (Abaxis Veterinary Reference Laboratories) and in-clinic testing.

George Henriques, president of Patterson Veterinary, commented, “We are excited by the access our veterinarians will now have to Abaxis’ state-of-the-art diagnostic technology as we work toward our core mission of providing quality veterinary care to our customers and peace of mind for pet owners. We also see great potential benefit from the relationship between two demonstrated leaders in veterinary diagnostics. We are confident that this agreement will further the goals of both companies to provide a comprehensive suite of diagnostic solutions and technical support to the veterinary community.”

Patterson recently executed the new partnership contract and will commence selling the full Abaxis suite of products immediately. This agreement creates new opportunities for in-house testing and reference laboratory services that can now be utilized by any type of veterinary practice, whether it is a single doctor, multi-doctor or specialty practice.

Clint Severson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Abaxis, said, “Patterson is a leader in the veterinary product distribution industry, and enjoys a well-deserved reputation of providing superior service to their customers and delivering excellent patient outcomes for pet owners. We look forward to offering Patterson our leading-edge diagnostic technology to provide patient care in an even more timely and cost-effective manner for their veterinarians.”

About Abaxis
Abaxis develops, manufactures, markets and sells portable blood analysis systems for use in any veterinary or human patient-care setting to provide clinicians with rapid blood constituent measurements. The system consists of a compact, 5.1 kilogram (11.2 pounds), portable analyzer and a series of single-use plastic discs, called reagent discs that contain all the chemicals required to perform a panel of up to 13 tests on veterinary patients and 14 tests on human patients. The system can be operated with minimal training and performs multiple routine tests on whole blood, serum or plasma samples. The system provides test results in less than 12 minutes with the precision and accuracy equivalent to a clinical laboratory analyzer. The veterinary business also provides to the animal health and research market a line of hematology instruments for point-of-care complete blood counts (CBC), a specialty instrument to screen for and detect clotting disorders and to measure equine fibrinogen levels, a handheld instrument for the rapid assessment of certain critical care tests and rapid point-of-care tests for Heartworm infections, Parvovirus, Giardia and Lyme disease. Abaxis, through its AVRL division, provides routine laboratory testing as well as specialty testing for veterinarians nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.abaxis.com.

About Patterson Companies, Inc.
Patterson Companies, Inc. is a value-added distributor serving the dental, companion-pet veterinarian and rehabilitation supply markets.
Dental Market
As Patterson’s largest business, Patterson Dental provides a virtually complete range of consumable dental products, equipment and software, turnkey digital solutions and value-added services to dentists and dental laboratories throughout North America.
Veterinary Market
Patterson Veterinary is a leading distributor in the U.S. and U.K. of consumable veterinary supplies, equipment and software, diagnostic products, vaccines and pharmaceuticals predominantly to companion-pet veterinary clinics.
Rehabilitation Market
Patterson Medical is the world’s leading distributor of rehabilitation supplies and non-wheelchair assistive patient products to the physical and occupational therapy markets. The unit’s global customer base includes hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and dealers.

This release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are information of a non-historical nature and are subject to risks and uncertainties that are beyond the Company’s ability to control. The Company cautions shareholders and prospective investors that the following factors, among others, may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements: competition within the dental, veterinary, and rehabilitative and assistive living supply industries; changes in the economics of dentistry, including reduced growth in expenditures by private dental insurance plans, the effects of economic conditions and the effects of healthcare reform, which may affect future per capita expenditures for dental services and the ability and willingness of dentists to invest in high-technology products; the effects of healthcare related legislation and regulation which may affect expenditures or reimbursements for rehabilitative and assistive products; changes in the economics of the veterinary supply market, including reduced growth in per capita expenditures for veterinary services and reduced growth in the number of households owning pets; the ability of the Company to maintain satisfactory relationships with its sales force; unexpected loss of key senior management personnel; unforeseen operating risks; risks associated with the dependence on manufacturers of the Company’s products; potential disruptions in our operations during our enterprise resource planning implementation; and the ability of the Company to successfully integrate the recent acquisitions into its existing business. Forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by the cautionary language set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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