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11 Jan 2016

HemoShear Therapeutics announces next stage of safety collaboration with Pfizer

Development of a biological and computational model for prediction of drug-induced vascular injury for early-stage compounds.

HemoShear Therapeutics will be initiating the next stage of a multi-year collaboration with Pfizer Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, which combines the scientific and technical expertise of both companies, HemoShear will leverage its proprietary discovery platform, REVEAL-Tx, with the aim of developing a predictive model for preclinical drug-induced vascular injury (DIVI). Financial terms were not disclosed.

The initial stage of the collaboration between HemoShear and Pfizer was designed to assess the repeatability of vascular toxicities of a specifically chosen set of drugs in HemoShear's REVEAL-Tx platform. In this next stage, the companies will use HemoShear's platform to assess a large number of compounds with the aim of building a predictive computational model that would be used for evaluation of vascular safety of Pfizer drug compounds before entering pre-clinical stages of development.

"Drug toxicity discovered in pre-clinical or clinical trials has serious implications for drug development," said Jim Powers, CEO at HemoShear. "Our collaboration has the potential to create a new safety paradigm for the pharmaceutical industry that improves confidence in selecting safer drug candidates for pre-clinical trials, and we look forward to working with Pfizer to further develop this much needed, predictive model."

DIVI poses a safety dilemma for the pharmaceutical industry because of limitations in resolving the underlying drivers of vascular injury. In addition, there are no generally accepted diagnostic or predictive biomarkers to understand when or why DIVI will occur, nor are there models to select the safest compound prior to animal testing. If drug toxicity occurs in an animal, significant program delays and additional costs are incurred to investigate and explain the underlying biology and determine whether the compound is safe to move forward to human testing, or to determine if another compound would be safer. In some cases, decisions are made to stop a program altogether in the absence of a clear understanding of the injury and whether an animal response translates to human clinical outcomes.

In addition to leveraging REVEAL-Tx for safety and drug discovery collaborations with pharmaceutical companies, HemoShear Therapeutics is pursuing its own drug discovery programs in metabolic diseases with high unmet need.

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