SOUTH EASTON, Mass., April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) ("PBI" or the "Company"), a leader in the development and sale of broadly enabling sample preparation solutions using pressure cycling technology ("PCT")-based instruments and consumables to the worldwide life sciences industry, today announced that Dr. William Funk, Assistant Professor in Preventive Medicine-Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at the Northwestern University ("NU") Feinberg School of Medicine, and his postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Daniel Ladror, presented a novel application for the Company's new Barozyme HT48 high-throughput PCT-based System (the "HT48 System") in environmental epidemiology. The presentations were made at the 2015 Pittcon Conference & Expo (largest annual conference & exposition for laboratory science) and at NU's 11th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day.
Dr. Funk, a key opinion leader in cancer epidemiology and prevention, has been participating in the early evaluation program for the Barozyme HT48 High-throughput System since November 2014. In addition to studies aimed at determining its effectiveness for protein digestion and biomarker discovery, Dr. Funk and his team have also used the HT48 System to help measure fetal exposure to tobacco smoke. The method used to detect exposure to tobacco smoke involves the extraction and detection of cotinine from blood, and recently from dried blood spots ("DBS"), collected from babies. Drs. Funk and Ladror found that the addition of the Barozyme HT48 System into their workflow resulted in greater sensitivity, accuracy, throughput, and time-to-result, as compared to their standard extraction and detection method.
Cotinine, an alkaloid found in tobacco, is the predominant metabolite of nicotine. It is considered the gold standard biomarker for exposure to tobacco smoke. DBS collection is a relatively non-invasive technique used to routinely collect and store blood samples, typically within 24-48 hours of birth from greater than 98% of all newborns in the United States. Drs. Funk and Ladror are pioneering the extraction and measurement of cotinine and possibly other chemical pollutants from DBS, versus whole blood. This cutting-edge method for measuring cotinine in DBS samples offers the potential to significantly improve the detection and measurement of exposure of fetuses and newborns to tobacco smoke and potentially their exposure to other environmental pollutants, such as heavy metals.
Dr. Ladror said: "Extractions of cotinine from dried blood spots using the HT48 System were completed in a fraction of the time required for standard, bench-top extracts, but nonetheless resulted in equal or improved yields. This greatly streamlines the sample preparation process, and when combined with the increased sample processing capacity of the HT48 System, makes the use of the Barozyme HT48 System quite amenable to the high-throughput studies required for population-based environmental studies."
Dr. Funk said: "We have routinely used our Barocycler NEP2320 for accelerated protein digestion and biomarker discovery and have been delighted with the results. Based on our successful experience with PCT-based protein extraction and digestion, we wondered if high pressure might also improve the extraction of chemicals like cotinine from dried blood spots on filter paper. We also wondered if the Barozyme HT48 System might improve the extraction of other chemical toxins and carcinogens from sources other than tobacco, while providing a high throughput sample preparation solution for environmental epidemiology."
Dr. Funk continued: "Results to date have shown that the Barozyme HT48 System can effectively extract cotinine from dried blood spots. Based on these results, we believe the HT48 System may one day also be used to extract and help measure other potential chemical hazards in the environment that could harm fetuses, babies, children, and even adults. We look forward to continuing these very important studies in which we expect the Barozyme HT48 to continue to play an important role."
Dr. Nathan Lawrence, VP of Marketing and Sales of PBI, commented: "When our instrumentation is placed in the hands of creative scientists, they often successfully expand the applications of these PCT-based tools into new and important areas of research and discovery. We believe the work of Dr. Funk and his team shows the potential use of the HT48 System for the extraction of biomarkers from dried blood spots, a new and potentially large market for PBI. We also believe the continuation of their work may lead to more sensitive and accurate environmental exposure assays, tests that are essential to protecting the health of all people, but especially babies, the most vulnerable members of our community. Finally, we believe that these and other new applications for the Barozyme HT48 High-throughput System will drive increases in both instrument and consumables revenue for PBI, in 2015 and beyond."
About the Barozyme HT48 High-throughput System
The Barozyme HT48 is a first-in-class, high throughput, PCT-based instrument. It is capable of processing up to 48 samples simultaneously using the Company's proprietary BaroFlex 8-well, single-use processing strips. Together, the new Barozyme HT48 instrument and BaroFlex 8-well processing strips make up the Barozyme HT48 High Throughput System (the "Barozyme HT48 System").
The ability of the Barozyme HT48 System to process up to 48 samples simultaneously in the universally accepted "microplate" format is a major improvement in the throughput of sample handling. This is a critical capability needed to interface PCT-based sample preparation smoothly with essential modern laboratory automation. The new BaroFlex format of disposable sample containers in 8-well strips lowers the total cost per sample processed by PCT and facilitates integration of PCT processing with robotic automation, essential to the throughput and efficiency of modern laboratories. Lastly, the Barozyme HT48 Systems' computer control was designed to meet GLP compliance demands of biopharmaceutical quality control and clinical proteomics labs.
About Pressure BioSciences, Inc.
Pressure BioSciences, Inc. ("PBI") (OTCQB: PBIO) develops, markets, and sells proprietary laboratory instrumentation and associated consumables to the estimated $6 billion life sciences sample preparation market. Our products are based on the unique properties of both constant (i.e., static) and alternating (i.e., pressure cycling technology, or PCT) hydrostatic pressure. PCT is a patented enabling technology platform that uses alternating cycles of hydrostatic pressure between ambient and ultra-high levels to safely and reproducibly control bio-molecular interactions. To date, we have installed over 250 PCT systems in approximately 160 sites worldwide. There are over 100 publications citing the advantages of the PCT platform over competitive methods, many from key opinion leaders. Our primary application development and sales efforts are in the biomarker discovery and forensics areas. Customers also use our products in other areas, such as drug discovery & design, bio-therapeutics characterization, soil & plant biology, vaccine development, histology, and counter-bioterror applications.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements contained in this press release regarding PBI's intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations, or predictions of the future are "forward-looking'' statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the Company's current expectations, forecasts, and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors include, but are not limited to, the risks and uncertainties discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and other reports filed by the Company from time to time with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any of the information included in this release, except as otherwise required by law.
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Richard T. Schumacher, President and CEO (508) 230-1828 (T)
Nathan P. Lawrence, Vice President, Marketing and Sales (508) 230-1829 (F)
SOURCE Pressure BioSciences, Inc.