MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - November 18, 2010) - Epistem plc (LSE: EHP), the UK biotechnology and personalised medicine company, today announced presentation of its novel ex vivo plucked hair biomarker assay at the EORTC-NCI-AACR Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics Symposium in Berlin on Friday 19th November. Epistem has developed a method for maintaining plucked human hairs ex vivo, and then treating with therapeutic agents to obtain valuable information on the cellular response to drug treatment.
Epistem senior scientist Dr Ben Jackson will present the model during the "Biomarkers" poster category (abstract # 648). The data demonstrate that freshly plucked hairs can be kept in short-term culture and that treatment-related changes in protein expression can be detected by immunohistochemistry and quantified by image analysis. This continues the expansion of Epistem's hair biomarker platform in which plucked hairs act as a surrogate biomarker tissue for monitoring the specific pharmacodynamic response of epithelial tissue to oncology agents. The addition of this ex vivo assay permits the rapid treatment and analysis of hair, confirming its utility in biomarker programmes before commencing more costly clinical studies with patients.
Matthew Walls, Epistem CEO commented "Epistem are at the forefront of biomarker research and continue to invest in the development of innovative models to assist the drug development industry with their biomarker programmes. The new ex vivo assay further complements our growing portfolio of personalised medicine applications".
For further information on the Company please visit www.epistem.co.uk.
Notes to Editors:
Epistem is a biotechnology company commercialising its expertise in epithelial stem cells in the areas of oncology, gastrointestinal diseases and dermatological applications. Epistem develops innovative therapeutics and biomarkers and provides contract research services to drug development companies. The Group's expertise is focused on the regulation of adult stem cells located in epithelial tissue, which includes the gastrointestinal tract, skin, hair follicles, breast and prostate. Epistem does not conduct research in the areas of embryonic stem cells or stem cell transplantation. The Company was originally formed in 2000 and this year celebrates its 10 year anniversary.
Epistem operates three distinct business divisions, Contract Research Services, Novel Therapies and Personalised Medicine (biomarker and diagnostics). The Contract Research Services division provides specialised preclinical efficacy testing for drug development companies on a 'fee for service' basis. This division has a ten-year track record of providing testing services to over 130 international company clients in Europe, the United States and Japan.