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Epistem to provide preclinical efficacy testing for EBI
April 2008
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MANCHESTER, U.K.Epistem announced recently that Exponential Biotherapies Inc. (EBI) has contracted Epistem to provide their specialized preclinical efficacy testing services for agents likely to protect the gastrointestinal tract against radiation damage.

The first compound that Epistem will assess is EBI's lead candidate drug, EA-230, a small peptide immunoregulator, which has shown the potential to minimize radiation insult and could therefore be administered following a terrorist nuclear attack, for example, to reduce the level of intestinal related radiation sickness.

"We are looking forward to working with EBI to assess the therapeutic potential of EA-230," says Dr. Catherine Booth, head of Epistem's contract research division. "If it is able to improve gastrointestinal wound healing following radiation exposure, it may have widespread applications in biodefense, oncology supportive care (the area for which we first developed and validated these assays), and possibly in other related intestinal wound healing situations, such as inflammatory bowel disease."

Epistem supplies assays that measure qualitatively and quantitatively the effects of radiation damage on the stem cells in the gut. Epistem's assays show the effects of agents developed to protect the very sensitive cells of the gut. These assays were chosen by the NIH Medical Countermeasures against Radiological and Nuclear Threats (MCART) program. Epistem also works with a number of pharmaceutical companies developing new drug candidates with the potential to treat mucositis, the erosion of the lining of the mouth and gut, which is a very common side effect of radiation therapy used during cancer treatment.

Dr. Zsolt Harsanyi, chairman and CEO of EBI says: "Epistem's well-established assays and unrivalled expertise in the field of gastrointestinal epithelial radiation toxicity are extremely valuable to us in confirming the potential of EA-230 as a therapeutic treatment for radionuclear attack."

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