Call us today 212-583-0100

ENZO Biochem Presents Five Papers Covering Pre-Clinical Research Results At Liver Disease Conference

BOSTON, MA, November 1, 2004 -- Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE:ENZ), a leading biotechnology company, announced today that its scientists presented five papers at the annual meeting here of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, including three detailing preclinical studies of the Company’s new immunomodulatory agent EGS21, a beta-D-glucosylceramide compound (GC).
These three presentations focused on the role of GC in animal model systems in which it was shown to act to impact the immune response in the body by modulating the function of an immune regulatory cell called NKT.
In the first presentation delivered at the conference, it was shown that GC administered to laboratory animals with GvHD (graft versus host disease) was able to significantly ameliorate the GvHD-related liver and skin involvement. The treated mice gained weight and showed significant improvement in liver sections compared with control untreated mice. In addition, the immune (NKT) cells in the liver decreased by 56% in the treated animals.
In a second study, the role of GC was evaluated as a means of suppressing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in experimental animals.  As in the previous study, administration of GC to these animals suppressed the HCC and increased survival rates in the treated animals as compared to untreated controls.  This effect was also associated with an altered distribution of immune (NKT) cells.  It is thought that the NKT cells may contribute to an inadequate anti-tumor immune response and that immune modulation by treatment with GC may correct this aberration, thereby promoting an effective anti-tumor response, and thus facilitating the suppression of HCC.
GC’s indicated effectiveness was also the subject of a research paper that discussed its apparent significant amelioration of metabolic alternations and its immune modulatory role in the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (“NASH”), or acute liver failure, as well as glucose intolerance, such as exists in type 2 diabetes.  
Enzo recently completed a Phase I safety study of GC, the results of which indicated its safe use and plans to commence a Phase II clinical study of this glycolipid for the management of NASH.
“Based on these laboratory studies, GC may well provide powerful novel properties and applications in promoting blood stem cell transplantation and in the management of glucose levels and may be effective in the treatment of other immune mediated diseases,” said Dean Engelhardt, Ph.D., Executive Vice President at Enzo. “While we obviously plan to continue our efforts in this regard, the acceptance by the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease at its conference of these papers discussing our Company’s scientific efforts underscores the degree to which our research in this area is of interest to our professional colleagues and is certainly encouraging.”
Other papers dealt with leptin, a hormone that may act as an immune modulatory agent in the treatment of one form of hepatitis A by shifting the immune paradigm towards a pro-inflammatory response, and also its possible application in suppression of hepatocellular carcinoma.
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 over 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 and 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.