Epistem Case Study

Epistem is a biotechnology company providing expertise in epithelial adult stem cells for drug discovery and development in the areas of oncology, gastrointestinal disease, dermatology and ageing. 

Adult stem cells remain capable of regenerating tissues in our organs throughout our lives. As we get older, our body’s stem cells’ ability to regenerate new cellular tissue diminishes leading to tissue ageing and disease. Epistem is focused on understanding how cells function and are controlled, so that we can identify new drug therapies for oncology, gastrointestinal disease, dermatology and ageing. 

Founded in Manchester in 2000, the Company originally formed part of the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester with the founders and management team being international experts in epithelial tissue and stem cell control. Epistem listed on AIM in 2007 and now employs over 45 staff. The company operates three distinct business divisions: Contract Research Services, Novel Therapies and Biomarkers.

The Contract Research Division provides specialised preclinical efficacy testing primarily for drug development and personal care companies on a ‘fee for service’ basis. This division has a successful track record of providing testing services to over 100 companies internationally.

Epistem’s innovative Novel Therapies Division focuses on identifying the regulators of epithelial stem cells, looking at how these cells behave and the damage responses that occur as a result of radiation and chemotherapy. In early 2009 Epistem and Novartis signed a collaborative deal to identify new drug targets and therapeutics across a variety of disease areas.