MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Jan. 13, 2014) - Epistem Holdings Plc (LSE:EHP), the biotechnology and personalised medicine company, announces that it has entered into a cooperative agreement with the US Air Force alongside an agreement with Johns Hopkins University (Advanced Physics Laboratory), to undertake the combat evaluation of Epistem's Genedrive® handheld molecular device for pathogen detection. The agreement will commence immediately and provides $0.6m (£0.4m) over 5 months to develop and evaluate Genedrive® for the identification of three known disease pathogens. Successful completion of the combat evaluation programme will secure ongoing investment for the development of Genedrive® as a handheld pathogen detection unit for the US Department of Defence.
Preparations for the 2014 launch of the company's first Genedrive® disease test in Tuberculosis continue, with progress to resolve the earlier reported software and firmware issues now nearing completion. Whilst unit testing is ongoing, preparations are being made for the commencement of final stage clinical trials in support of Indian regulatory approval. 2014 plans to undertake clinical trials with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) have also commenced as a forerunner to a potential WHO recommendation in 2015.
Notes for editors
Epistem is a biotechnology and personalised medicine company commercialising its expertise in stem cells in the areas of epithelial (oncology, gastrointestinal and dermatological) and infectious diseases. Epistem develops innovative therapeutics, biomarkers and diagnostics (Genedrive®) alongside contract research services for drug development companies. The Group's core expertise is focused around the regulation of adult stem cells located in epithelial tissue including the gastrointestinal tract, skin, hair follicles, breast and prostate and utilizing novel, proprietary next generation molecular biology for use in personalised medicine. www.epistem.co.uk.