Public Release: 

New data on the probiotic strain Bifantis shows anti-inflammatory properties

Bifantis shows ability to limit inflammation in models of arthritis and Salmonella infection, according to data presented at Digestive Disease Week

Manning Selvage & Lee

Washington, D.C. - May 21, 2007 -- The biotechnology company Alimentary Health today announced results from two studies that demonstrate the anti-inflammatory activity of a natural probiotic bacterial strain of human origin, Bifantis® (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624), in models of arthritis and Salmonella infection. Data from these studies were presented this week at the 38th annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference taking place in Washington D.C.

The inflammatory response is a key part of the immune system's battle against invaders, but in certain conditions and diseases, it can do more harm than good by injuring healthy tissue. Inflammation is associated with a variety of conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and more. Bifantis has previously been shown to modulate the inflammatory response in a clinical trial in irritable bowel syndrome. The results announced this week demonstrate that the anti-inflammatory effects of Bifantis are not restricted to the gastrointestinal tract.

"Inflammation is a major factor in a number of chronic diseases, which affect millions of people," said Barry Kiely, Chief Executive Officer, Alimentary Health and an early investigator of the probiotic effects of Bifantis. "Data continue to show that Bifantis has anti-inflammatory activity, which may be useful in the management of inflammation-linked diseases."

In one of the studies released today, four bacterial strains were fed to mice. Of these four strains, researchers determined that only Bifantis delayed the onset of artificially induced arthritis and resulted in less severe arthritic symptoms. This study represents some of the latest work assessing the link between diet involving probiotics and certain autoimmune diseases.

In the second study, mice were fed Bifantis and then exposed to Salmonella, a common bacteria associated with a form of food poisoning. Animals that received Bifantis showed dramatically increased numbers of certain immune cells that control the immune system's response to harmful pathogens, in this case Salmonella. Bifantis also increased the numbers of T-regulatory cells in the body, in effect limiting the concentrations of certain signals essential to inflammation, such as cytokines.

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About Alimentary Health

Alimentary Health is a development stage specialty biotechnology company linked to the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre based at University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. Alimentary Health is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary treatments for gastrointestinal disorders and other inflammatory conditions.

About APC

The Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded research centre headquartered in University College Cork (UCC), with scientists and clinicians also based in Teagasc Moorepark, Cork University Hospital and Alimentary Health Ltd. The APC is investigating mechanisms by which intestinal bacteria influence health and disease and is developing new therapies for lifelong debilitating gastrointestinal diseases such as gastroenteritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. For information please visit http://apc.ucc.ie/.

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