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Inotiv, Inc. Announces the Launch of New Genetically Engineered Rodent Models for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Research

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Dec. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inotiv, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOTV) (the “Company”, “We”, “Our” or “Inotiv”), a leading contract research organization specializing in nonclinical and analytical drug discovery and development services and research models and related products and services, today announced that its Research Models and Services (“RMS”) business, consisting of recently-acquired Envigo, has launched novel transgenic rodent models designed specifically for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and Coronavirus research.

Three new models are now available:

  • Mouse model with the human ACE2 gene targeted to the mouse ACE2 locus

  • Rat model with the human ACE2 gene targeted to the rat ACE2 locus

  • Mouse model with human ACE2 and TMPRSS2 genes targeted to the mouse loci

Standard laboratory rodent models do not contain the human genes the SARS-CoV-2 virus (and other Coronaviruses) use to attach to, enter, and infect human cells. Therefore, they are not useful for the study of vaccines and therapies targeting COVID-19. Creating transgenic rodent models which contain these human genes enables the study of treatments and vaccines in the laboratory.

The mouse and rat models developed by Inotiv for the study of SARS-CoV-2 overcome the limitations of other commercially available human ACE2 transgenic rodent models:

  • Inotiv’s models express human ACE2 protein at physiologically relevant levels. The effects produced upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in these models more closely parallel human COVID-19 disease.

  • Inotiv’s models do not contain a functional mouse or rat ACE2 gene. Other commercially available models contain these endogenous genes which may confound experimental results.

  • Inotiv has developed the first commercially available human ACE2 transgenic rat model which will have additional utility for studying the neurological impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the toxicology of vaccines and drugs in development.

Inotiv utilizes CRISPR/Cas9 for precision gene editing in the production of transgenic rodents. This technology was used to mediate the integration of a codon optimized human ACE2 cDNA expression cassette into the mouse and rat ACE2 gene loci so that the endogenous ACE2 gene promoter drives expression of the human gene while simultaneously eliminating the mouse or rat gene. Therefore, human ACE2 receptors in these models are expressed at normal levels, thus enabling them to mirror the disease pathology seen in humans.

Helmut Ehall, Inotiv’s Senior Vice President of Veterinary Sciences, commented, “Our team is excited to provide these new models to COVID-19 researchers. Enabling lifesaving research is central to our Company’s mission. The initial results from external collaborators’ evaluation of the models verifies that they are able to support SARS-CoV-2 infection and cause symptoms that align more closely with human disease. These are powerful new tools for the study of COVID-19 disease.”

About the Company
Inotiv, Inc. is a leading contract research organization dedicated to providing nonclinical and analytical drug discovery and development services and research models and related products and services. The Company’s products and services focus on bringing new drugs and medical devices through the discovery and preclinical phases of development, all while increasing efficiency, improving data, and reducing the cost of taking new drugs to market. Inotiv is committed to supporting discovery and development objectives as well as helping researchers realize the full potential of their critical R&D projects, all while working together to build a healthier and safer world. Further information about Inotiv can be found here: https://www.inotivco.com/.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, risks and uncertainties related to changes in the market and demand for our products and services, the development, marketing and sales of products and services, changes in technology, industry and regulatory standards, the timing of acquisitions and the successful closing, integration and business and financial impact thereof, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, demand for our services and products and our operations, including the measures taken by governmental authorities to address the pandemic, which may precipitate or exacerbate other risks and/or uncertainties and various other market and operating risks, including those detailed in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Company Contact

Investor Relations

Inotiv, Inc.

The Equity Group Inc.

Beth A. Taylor, Chief Financial Officer

Kalle Ahl, CFA

(765) 497-8381

(212) 836-9614

btaylor@inotivco.com

kahl@equityny.com

Devin Sullivan

(212) 836-9608

dsullivan@equityny.com