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Epistem announces the successful demonstration of the Genedrive(R) IL28B genotype test at the 49th Annual EASL Meeting

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 05/06/14 -- Epistem Holdings Plc (LSE:EHP)(AIM:EHP.L), Manchester, UK, the Personalised Medicine and Biotechnology company, announces today the successful presentation and demonstration of the Genedrive® IL28B genotype test at the 49th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Liver (EASL) held at the ExCeL Arena in London on 10th & 11th April 2014. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) predicts the response to hepatitis C (HCV) treatment with interferon. From buccal swabs provided by conference delegates, Epistem demonstrated successful IL28B genotype results in a rapid test using the Genedrive® device.

Genedrive® is a small, handheld 'Point of Care' molecular diagnostic device which has been developed by Epistem to provide a major advance in next generation diagnostic and genotype testing. Genedrive® provides a rapid (less than an hour), low cost, simple to use platform enabling high sensitivity DNA genotyping analysis. Genedrive® has broad application across a range of areas including bacterial, viral and fungal identification as well as germline and somatic genotype analysis.

The IL28B Genedrive® test represents the completion of the first stage of a HCV panel test to aid in selection of patients who will respond to treatment with pegylated-interferon and/or ribavirin therapy. Epistem is also developing diagnostic and viral load tests to aid patient clinical and therapy management. The IL28b test will be made available as a Research Use Only product over the coming months and will be followed by subsequent CE-IVD regulatory approval. The IL28B test is the first of a panel of HCV tests that Epistem is developing alongside the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme for the development of Point of Care HCV tests.

For further details please contact Epistem at www.epistem.co.uk

Notes for editors

Epistem is a biotechnology company commercialising its expertise in stem cells in the areas of infectious and epithelial disease (oncology, gastrointestinal and dermatological). Epistem develops innovative therapeutics, biomarkers and diagnostics (Genedrive®) alongside contract research services to drug development companies. Epistem operates three divisions, Personalised Medicine (Biomarkers and Diagnostics), Preclinical Research Services and Novel Therapies.

Personalised Medicine (Biomarkers and Diagnostics)

For DNA genotype analysis, Epistem utilizes its proprietary Point of Care platform, Genedrive®. Genedrive® provides a major advance in next generation molecular diagnostic testing by providing a rapid, low cost, simple to use 'Point of Care' device with high sensitivity. Genedrive® has applications across a wide range of areas including bacterial, viral and fungal identification as well as germline and somatic genotype analysis.

The Biomarker and Personalised Medicine Division provides services to drug development companies in gene expression (mRNA/miRNA) or DNA genotype analysis. For RNA analysis, Epistem utilises its proprietary RNA- Amp(TM) biomarker platform. RNA-Amp(TM) is a highly sensitive cDNA amplification technique for gene expression analysis of tissue biopsies, blood, plucked scalp hair, skin and laser captured microdissected (LCM) samples to measure drug-induced gene expression changes. Epistem's knowledge of epithelial cells and the ability to obtain gene expression information from small starting materials enables the group to be a preferred partner of choice for Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies in providing biomarker information to support drug development programmes.

Contacts:
Epistem Plc
Matthew Walls: Chief Executive Officer
Ben Reed (Pharmacogenomics - Business Development)
Gino Miele (Pharmacogenomics - Operations Director)
+44 (0) 161 606 7258

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