Acquisition to benefit pharmaceutical, biotechnology and consumer products industries with comprehensive ex vivo biomarker testing platforms to aid pre-clinical and clinical research
AUSTIN, TX (October 9, 2007) — Rules-Based Medicine, Inc. (RBM), the leading multiplexed biomarker testing laboratory for the life sciences industry, announced today that it has acquired Experimentelle and Diagnostische Immunologie, GmbH, (EDI) in Reutlingen, Germany, an innovative developer of human organotypic (HOT) cell culture test systems. This transaction leverages the strong synergies between EDI’s HOT cultures and RBM’s Multi-Analyte Profiling (MAP) biomarker testing services. Researchers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and consumer products industries will benefit from these comprehensive ex vivo biomarker testing platforms, which will help bring safer products to market faster and at a lower cost. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
EDI has over ten years of experience with complex co-culture systems and has proprietary technologies that are unparalleled in generating quality, reproducible data for drug development applications. EDI’s cell culture products consist of multiple primary cell types grown in a 3-D architecture that closely mimic particular human organ systems.
One of EDI’s patented products, the Instant Leukocyte Culture System (ILCS®), is regarded as a breakthrough product in ex vivo culture systems and is designed to replace the tedious and error-prone peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures (PBMCs) heretofore a cornerstone of research. ILCS will be coupled with the RBM MAP testing service to provide unprecedented understanding of a compound’s effects in the pre-clinical research phase. In addition, these products could provide essential safety information prior to initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial.
“Combining RBM’s MAP products and services with EDI’s HOT systems enables us to better serve both our existing and new customers,” said T. Craig Benson, CEO of Rules-Based Medicine. “These solutions will standardize sample collection, cell treatment and result generation to provide investigators with the most reliable and reproducible approach to therapeutic and consumer product development.”
Another application for the combined EDI and RBM products is in the consumer products and topical therapeutics industries, where animal testing for determining the safety of these products is rapidly being eliminated. EDI’s HOT Skin model closely reproduces, in an ex vivo format, the reaction of a compound applied to human skin. EDI’s HOT Skin model coupled with an RBM MAP provides a comprehensive picture of a topical compound’s safety and efficacy profile. EDI offers additional co-cultures such as gastro-intestinal, synovial, pulmonary and vascular, which will also be enhanced in combination with the RBM MAP services.
“Working with RBM made great sense,” said Dr. Manfred Schmolz, owner and general manager of EDI. “Together we will bring the complexities of immune system evaluation to a new level of convenience and simplicity.”
EDI is being operated as an RBM subsidiary with EDI founder and general manager Dr. Manfred Schmolz continuing in his role. All EDI employees have been retained and will continue to work from the Reutlingen, Germany facility.
More about Human Co-culture Cell Systems
The practice of growing human cells in vitro over the last three decades has typically used a single clonal type of cell that is modified to proliferate indefinitely outside of the body in a laboratory dish. These “transformed” cell lines, although useful for some experiments, often have little in common with the cells found in the body. Conversely, human co-culture cell systems are made with a mixture of primary cell types that more closely resembles actual physiological conditions. This co-culture containing multiple primary cell types creates a three-dimensional architecture much as they do in the body, providing a more life-like setting in which to test compounds for drug and product development.
About EDI GmbH
Founded in 1996 by Manfred Schmolz, Ph.D., EDI GmbH is a contract research and development lab, certified according to EN ISO 13485. The company offers commissioned research in the field of immunopharmacology, immunotoxicology and cell biology, together with commissioned development work and the validation of customized cell culture systems and immunoassays of all kinds. Based in Reutlingen, Germany, EDI services pharmaceutical, cosmetic and chemical industries and its cellular tests can be designed for use in pharmacological, toxicological or compatibility investigations. More information about EDI GmbH is located at www.edigmbh.de.
About Rules-Based Medicine
Rules-Based Medicine (RBM) provides comprehensive protein biomarker products and services centered on its Multi-Analyte Profiling (MAP) technology. Its service platform (RodentMAP® and HumanMAP®) provides pre-clinical and clinical researchers with reproducible, quantitative, multiplexed immunoassay data for hundreds of proteins cost-effectively in multiple species, and from a small sample volume. The Company also offers innovative and proprietary ex vivo testing systems such as TruCulture™, the first fully-closed, reproducible whole blood culture system. RBM is actively developing multiplex diagnostic tests to detect the presence of complex diseases and conditions in areas of unmet medical need such as neuropsychiatry, nephrology, immunology and cardiology. More information about RBM is located at www.rbmmaps.com.