Guildford, UK, 25 October 2005: ReNeuron Group plc (LSE: RENE.L) today announced that it has developed human hepatocyte (liver) cell lines using its proprietary c-mycERTAM platform technology. These cell lines have been shown to express a range of adult human liver functional markers, indicating their potential value as a tool in assessing new drugs in terms of hepatic metabolism, enzyme induction and cellular toxicity.
The study was conducted in collaboration with Professor Peter Goldfarb and colleagues at the Molecular Toxicology Group, School of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. The work is being presented today at the 13th North American International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics Meeting in Maui, Hawaii, USA, and was funded in part by a grant under the UK Department of Trade and Industry Knowledge Transfer Partnership Scheme.
ReNeuron has filed patents covering the production of hepatocyte cell lines using its c-mycERTAM platform. Further work is underway to optimize the production and characterization of these cell lines, ahead of making them commercially available to the pharmaceutical industry as part of ReNeuron’s existing ReNcellTM product portfolio of cell lines for use in drug discovery applications.
Commenting on the announcement, John Sinden, CSO of ReNeuron, said:
“The development of functional and patent-protected hepatocyte cell lines is a significant step forward in ReNeuron’s strategy of applying its world-class stem cell technologies in both therapeutic and non-therapeutic settings. We believe that this addition to our ReNcellTM range of non-therapeutic cell lines represents an exciting commercial prospect for ReNeuron. It offers well-characterised human, rather than animal, cells for toxicology profiling and other high-throughput screening applications in the drug development process.
“This development further supports our strategy to derive near-term commercial revenues from our ReNcellTM products to contribute to the funding of our core stem cell therapeutic programmes.”
Notes to editors
ReNeuron is a leading, UK-based adult stem cell therapy business. The Company is applying its novel stem cell platform technologies in the development of ground-breaking stem cell therapies to serve significant and unmet or poorly-met clinical needs.
ReNeuron has used its c-mycERTAM technology to generate genetically stable neural stem cell lines. This technology platform has multi-national patent protection and is fully regulated by way of a chemically-induced safety switch. Cell growth can therefore be completely arrested prior to in vivo implantation.
The Company’s lead stem cell therapy, ReN001 for chronic stroke disability, is in late pre-clinical development. The Company plans to file for approval to commence initial clinical trials in stroke by mid-2006, with trials commencing as soon as possible thereafter.
In addition to its ReN001 stroke programme, ReNeuron has programmes to develop stem cell therapies to address Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Type 1 diabetes and diseases of the retina.
ReNeuron has also leveraged its stem cell technologies into non-therapeutic areas – its ReNcellTM range of cell lines for use in drug discovery applications in the pharmaceutical industry.
The Company successfully completed its flotation on the London AIM market in August 2005, raising £9.5million before expenses. At flotation, the Company also issued warrants which, if exercised, will raise a further £5.7m for the Company by February 2007. ReNeuron’s shares are traded under the symbol RENE.L, and its warrants are traded under the symbol RENW.L.
Further information on ReNeuron and its products can be found at www.reneuron.com.
Michael Hunt, CEO
John Sinden, CSO
Tel: 01483 302 560
Tel: 020 7831 3113
The terms “ReNeuron” or “the Company” refer to ReNeuron Group plc and its subsidiary undertakings.