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Nov 10, 2011

Epistem Enters Agreement with The University of Manchester for Wound Repair Assays

  • Epistem has obtained rights to use preclinical models for cutaneous wound healing developed by Matthew Hardman, Ph.D., at The University of Manchester. Epistem and The University of Manchester have been awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) grant from the Technology Strategy Board and Medical Research Council to optimize, validate, and commercialize new preclinical assays for wound repair.

    A KTP associate has been appointed to work within Epistem on the project. The company will be able to expand its existing range of wound-healing models to assess the effect of agents on the rate of wound healing and anti-scarring effects. Epistem’s current portfolio is composed of three in vitro assays that measure leading edge migration, cell proliferation, and wound closure rate.

    The 96-well high-throughput migration assay measures the effects of multiple test items on cell migration and/or proliferation in a semi-automated high-throughput system. The Scratch Assay measures the effect of agents on keratinocyte migration in monolayer cultures following wounding. And the Epithelial Migration Assay assesses leading edge migration in keratinocytes that have been seeded in clonal rings.

    Epistem also performs both excisional and incisional wound-healing studies to assess the effects of agents on the rate of healing using rate of re-epithelialization, rate of wound contraction, rate of collagen deposition, as well as effect on angiogenesis, inflammation, and granulation maturity as parameters. Additionally, incisional wounds are assessed at 10–12 weeks post wounding for the level of scarring, and the effect of agents on the macroscopic and microscopic appearance of scarring is assessed.

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MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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