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Epistem plc and AstraZeneca Complete Plucked Hair Biomarker Study for Oncology Drug Development
Date:2/5/2008

s three distinct business divisions, Contract Research Services, Novel Therapies and Biomarkers.

Contract Research Services

Contract Research Services provides specialised preclinical efficacy testing primarily for drug development companies on a 'fee for service' basis. This division on a standalone basis is cash generative and profitable with a seven-year track record of providing testing services to over 72 international company clients primarily in Europe and the United States.

Novel Therapies

Novel Therapies is focused on developing its own innovative therapeutics. Through its discovery platform, Novel Therapies has identified 250 potential drug candidates, of which a subset are undergoing further evaluation and characterisation as stem cell regulators for the Group's emerging drug development pipeline.

Biomarkers

The emerging biomarker technology leverages the Company's knowledge of the behaviour of epithelial stem cells and drug-induced gene expression change to measure drug effects during treatment. Changes in gene expression can be detected within hours and at low levels of chemotherapy or radiation. The highly sensitive Biomarker technology is based on using mRNA extracted from the bulb of cells at the base of a single hair follicle as a minimally invasive process to measure gene expression changes in epithelial tissue.

Combined Business Model

Epistem is exploiting its combined business model to advance its own therapeutic candidates to late preclinical stage development. The business model integrates the discovery efforts of Novel Therapies with the efficacy testing assays of its Contract Research Services Division, to identify and characterise new drug candidates. Revenues generated by Contract Research Services and Biomarkers will assist in offsetting Novel Therapies' investment requirements for the discovery and development of its lead therapeutics. The Directors believe that licensing partnership
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SOURCE Epistem plc
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