MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - September 20, 2010) - Epistem plc (LSE: EHP), the UK biotechnology and contract research company, will present preclinical results from its recently completed colitis study at the Inflammation Research Association (IRA) conference in Chantilly, Virginia, USA between 26-29th September 2010. In a contracted study, Epistem successfully completed the testing of a number of neutralizing antibodies.
Data will be presented by Epistem Dr James Wilson, demonstrating that the therapeutic antibodies significantly reduced the symptoms of disease using a preclinical chronic "adoptive T cell transfer" model of human colitis. Many features of Epistem's colitis model are characteristic of human Crohn's disease, which is a serious and chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn's disease is associated with diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss in patients. Currently no single treatment is effective in all patients and surgery may be required to remove diseased tissue. It is estimated that over 1 million patients suffer from IBD in the USA and novel therapies, including antibody therapies to inflammatory mediators, are now being developed with the aim of identifying more effective treatments.
These data show that the therapeutic antibodies all demonstrated efficacy in reducing the severity of T cell transfer-mediated colitis, as evidenced by reductions in diarrhea and weight loss, and by reductions in the histological characteristics of the disease such as the area and degree of bowel inflammation.
"Epistem are epithelial tissue experts, with particular knowledge of the gastrointestinal tract. We have developed many specialised preclinical models to assist the drug development industry in identifying new and effective treatments for epithelial tissue disease. We are one of just a few companies who provide this robust model of chronic IBD as a research service and we are very pleased with the results from this study" commented Dr Catherine Booth, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Epistem.
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 Biomarkers. The Contract Research Services provides specialised preclinical efficacy testing primarily 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.