Guildford, UK, 22 June 2007: ReNeuron Group plc (LSE: RENE.L) today announces that it has taken a major step forward with its ReN002 diabetes programme with the generation of new data concerning its pancreatic cell lines for the treatment of Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. ReNeuron scientists have generated stable human pancreatic cell lines that form islet-like cell clusters. These clusters were shown to secrete insulin in response to glucose concentrations, demonstrating their potential as a cell therapy candidate for Type 1, insulin-dependent, diabetes patients.
The cell lines were generated using ReNeuron’s patented c-mycER stem cell expansion technology, and can be continuously grown in culture. The cell lines were pre-screened for both genetic stability and their ability to express the appropriate phenotypic markers for insulin-producing beta cells, such as the islet cell transcription factor PDX1 and the functional beta cell receptor GLP1R.
These results will be presented at the JDRF Center for Beta Cell Therapy in Diabetes’ 2007 Training Course in Bath, UK on 26-28 June. The ReN002 cells are currently being taken forward into pre-clinical models of diabetes. The Company believes that its ability to efficiently expand well-characterised ReN002 cells using its c-mycER technology may offer a solution to the current problem facing experimental islet cell transplantation � the limited availability of donated pancreas tissue from which to derive purified islets.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer of ReNeuron, said:
“We are excited by these results with our ReN002 programme, not least because having already demonstrated the ability of our c-mycER stem cell expansion platform to generate viable cell lines for neurological disorders, these new data indicate the potential of the technology to work in other significant disease areas. We now have the basis of a scalable cell therapy approach to Type 1 diabetes, a major disease target and one in which we believe cell therapy will play an important role in addressing in the future.”
Notes to editors
Type 1, or juvenile, insulin-dependent diabetes usually strikes in childhood and leads to the progressive destruction of the insulin-secreting pancreatic islet cells and impaired glucose metabolism. This can result in complications such as blindness, neuropathies, and kidney and liver problems. There is no effective cure. Recombinant insulin injection is the principal current treatment, together with diet management. A small number of patients receive pancreas transplants but donor organ supply is low and the immunosuppressant drug regimen required is problematic.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 5-15% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. There are estimated to be 5 million sufferers of Type 1 diabetes worldwide. The direct and indirect costs of Type 1 diabetes in the US are estimated at US$5 billion per annum.
ReNeuron is a leading, UK-based stem cell therapy business. It 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-mycER technology to generate genetically stable stem cell lines from non-embryonic tissue sources. This technology platform has multi-national patent protection and is fully regulated by means of a chemically-induced safety switch. Cell growth can therefore be completely arrested prior to in vivo implantation.
ReNeuron has filed for approval to commence initial clinical studies in the US with its lead ReN001 stem cell therapy for chronic stroke disability.
This represents the world’s first such filing concerning a neural stem cell treatment for a major neurological disorder. There are an estimated 50 million stroke survivors worldwide, approximately one half of which are left with permanent disabilities.
The annual health and social costs of caring for these patients is estimated to be in excess of £5
billion in the UK and in excess of US$50 billion in the US.
ReNeuron has also generated pre-clinical efficacy data with its ReN005 stem cell therapy for Huntington’s disease, a genetic and fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects around 1 in 10,000 people. This programme is in pre-clinical development. In addition to its stroke and Huntington’s disease programmes, ReNeuron is developing stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease, Type 1 diabetes and diseases of the retina.
ReNeuron has also leveraged its stem cell technologies into non-therapeutic areas � its ReNcell®range of cell lines for use in research and in drug discovery applications in the pharmaceutical industry. ReNeuron’s ReNcell®CX and ReNcell®VM neural cell lines are marketed worldwide under license by Millipore Corporation.
ReNeuron’s shares are traded on the London AIM market under the symbol RENE.L.
Further information on ReNeuron and its products can be found at www.reneuron.com.
Data sources: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; UK Stroke Association; American Stroke Association
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer
Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 1483 302560
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7831 3113
The terms �ReNeuron’, �the Company’ or �the Group’ used in this statement refer to ReNeuron Group plc and/or its subsidiary undertakings, depending on the context.