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BioMosaics, Inc. Initiates Study To Assess Biomarker Responses In Occupational Exposure To Butadiene


10/19/2005 5:10:30 PM

BURLINGTON, Vt., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- BioMosaics Inc. announced today that it has initiated a study to measure a continuum of biomarker responses in female and male workers exposed to 1,3 butadiene (BD) in the workplace. The funding for the study is being provided by the Olefins Panel of the American Chemistry Council.

The study will compare responses and susceptibility to 1,3-butadiene, which is used primarily in the synthesis of synthetic rubber and is also a product of combustion. The highest exposures to butadiene are in workplace settings during the manufacture and use of butadiene, but the general population is also exposed primarily from combustion sources such as on road and off road vehicles. In animal bioassays, butadiene causes cancer in mice at exposure levels of 2 ppm, but no malignant tumors are observed in rats exposed up to 8,000 ppm. There is controversy as to its potential to cause health effects in humans. Data from the planned study will help to resolve some of these issues.

A recent large-scale study of a set of biomarker responses -- assessing exposure, effect and susceptibility -- was recently completed in BD-exposed workers engaged in the rubber industry in the Czech Republic (http://www.healtheffects.org/Pubs/Albertini.pdf). The biomarker evaluations showed that urinary metabolites of BD such as M1 and M2, and the hemoglobin adducts, namely HBVal and THBVal, correlated significantly with BD exposure levels. There was no evidence of genotoxicity in this study at either the chromosome or the gene level (hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl-transferase mutations were assessed by two methods), suggesting that this level of human exposure may be without adverse effects.

The most recent EPA Risk Assessment of butadiene (US EPA, 2002) is based in part on the premise that women might be more susceptible than men to any possible adverse effects of this agent. The current study will include women exposed at the same BD level as men at the same plant in the Czech Republic, and will compare results between the two sexes. Subsequent studies, currently in the planning stage, will attempt to include worker populations with significantly higher levels of BD exposure (both men and women), and will evaluate these same and new biomarker responses in these new populations.

About BioMosaics

BioMosaics is a biotechnology company located in Burlington VT engaged in the development and commercialization of innovative products and methods for the early diagnosis, prediction, monitoring and treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. For more information, visit http://www.biomosaics.com/, or contact Richard J. Albertini, MD PhD, at rja@biomosaics.com.

Note: Statements in this news release, that are not historical facts, are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning given to that term in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. Since these statements involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the company's actual results could differ materially from expected results.

BioMosaics Inc.

CONTACT: Richard J. Albertini, MD PhD of BioMosaics, rja@biomosaics.com


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