Epistem's expertise and history in radiation biology has been applied to the evaluation of potential mitigators of Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) to aid the development of medical countermeasures.
Epistem has worked with the USA's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) funded Medical Countermeasures against Radiological Threats (MCART) consortium. MCART was set up as a result of Project Bioshield which aims to protect the USA against weapons of mass destruction. Epistem has over 10 years of experience in the evaluation of ARS mitigators for NIAID and other US Government departments. Models are provided with variable levels of bone marrow shielding and types of medical management to mimic a variety of radiation exposures and clinical support measures.
Epistem also applies the knowledge and experience of these models to other therapeutic areas including the treatment and prevention of oncology therapy side effects and other causes of GI toxicity.
Acute Radiation Syndrome occurs following a single, high dose exposure to ionising radiation. Damage from increasing doses of radiation primarily occurs to the haematological, gastrointestinal and neurovascular systems. The bone marrow and GI damage manifest within days due to the rapid cell turnover as radiation exposure interrupts cell production. Slowly regenerating tissues are more resistant to radiation and therefore generally require higher doses of radiation to be affected.
The cornerstone of the successful identification of an effective medical countermeasure for GI-ARS is correlating the proposed mechanism of action and histopathology with the effects on survival. Further, confounding factors of age, strain, concomitant bone marrow damage and medical management must be characterised. Epistem has generated a series of radiation dose response curves following total and partial body irradiation, with and without the provision of medical management. The data have been supported by detailed GI histopathology in order to correlate survival with crypt loss and regeneration. This comprehensive database is now used to screen potential mitigators of GI-ARS.
Epistem's Biodefense Models:
- Acute Radiation Syndrome
- Gastrointestinal (GI-ARS)
- Haematopoietic (H-ARS)
- Delayed Effects of Acute Radiation Exposure (DEARE)