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ENZO Biochem Presenting Preclinical Data On Compound For Treating Immune Mediated Disorders

NEW ORLEANS, LA, May 17, 2004 -- Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ), a leading biotechnology company, is presenting today in New Orleans at the American Gastroenterological Association’s Digestive Disease Week, the largest gathering of clinicians, educators and researchers focusing on the digestive system.
The presentation entitled “Glucocerebroside Treatment Ameliorates Experimental Colitis: A New Immune-Modulatory Tool” will focus on the role of glucocerebroside (GC) as a new immunomodulatory agent. GC is a naturally occurring glycolipid that has been shown by Enzo scientists and collaborators to modulate specific immune regulatory (NKT) cells and therefore is an important candidate drug in the treatment of immune mediated diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
In the present study four groups of mice were evaluated, with experimental allergic colitis induced in two of the groups. The first group was treated by daily administration of GC for 9 days. The second group received daily injections of normal saline. The final two groups of mice were similarly injected with GC or normal saline, without induction of colitis. The mice were followed for macroscopic and microscopic colitis scores. The immunomodulatory effect of GC was determined by analysis of intrahepatic and intrasplenic lymphocytes for NKT, CD4 and CD8 markers, and by measurement of serum IFNã, IL2, IL12, IL4 and IL10 cytokine levels.
The administration of GC resulted in marked alleviation of disease symptoms, with a significant improvement of the macroscopic and microscopic colitis scores in those mice that received GC, compared to placebo. Alleviation of colitis symptoms by GC treatment was associated with a significant increase of intrahepatic CD8+ T cell trapping (peripheral/intrahepatic CD4+/CD8+ ratio increased by 68% in the control group compared to placebo animals). A similar effect was observed when GC was administered to naive animals (peripheral/intrahepatic CD4+/CD8+ ratio increased by 61% in the third control group compared to placebo). The beneficial effect of GC on colitis was associated with a 17% increase of the intrahepatic NKT cell number and a 9% decrease of the peripheral/intrahepatic NKT cell ratio. In mice without colitis, GC treatment led to a 66% reduction of the intrahepatic NKT cell number and a 50% decrease of the peripheral/intrahepatic NKT cell ratio. Administration of GC led to a decreased serum IFNã level in the first group of mice compared to placebo (52 vs. 87 pg/ml, respectively, p<0.05).
The Company expects to begin clinical trials based upon the results of these studies.

About Enzo
Enzo Biochem is engaged in the research, development and manufacture of innovative health care products based on molecular biology and genetic engineering techniques, and in providing diagnostic services to the medical community. The Company's proprietary labeling and detection products for gene sequencing and genetic analysis, with approximately 200 patents worldwide, are sold to the life sciences market throughout the world. The Company's therapeutic division is in various stages of clinical evaluation of its proprietary gene medicine for HIV-1 infection and its proprietary immune regulation medicines for hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection and for Crohn's disease. The Company also holds a patent covering a method of materials for correcting point mutations or small insertions or deletions of genetic material that would allow for editing and correcting certain abnormalities in genes. For more information visit our website
Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this news release may be considered "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements include declarations regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and its management. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could materially affect actual results. The company disclaims any obligations to update any forward-looking statement as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.