HemoShear Awarded $4.3 Million NIH Grant to Develop Predictive Drug Database
Grant Funds Creation of Extensive Database of Drug-Induced Vascular Response Profiles Using HemoShear's Human Surrogate System
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug 25, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- HemoShear, LLC, a biotechnology research company and leading developer of human and animal cell-based surrogate systems for discovery and assessment of new drug compounds, today announced that it has been awarded up to $4.3 million in a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will fund work profiling the effects of 50 known drugs upon the human blood vessel system (the vasculature) using HemoShear's proprietary human vascular surrogate system. The database will be valuable in predicting the safety and efficacy of potential new drug candidates. HemoShear will use proprietary bioinformatics methods to develop a predictive vascular gene signature that can be used to score new drug compounds for vascular safety risk. There are no technologies currently available to the pharmaceutical industry to address this need.
Robert Ruffolo, Jr., Ph.D., D.Sc., D.Eng., HemoShear Scientific Advisory Board member and former President of Research and Development at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals commented, "The importance and power of the HemoShear technology is only beginning to be understood. We already know that the technology can play a role identifying and validating new molecular targets in the vascular system for which new drugs can be designed. We now believe the technology will be able to play an important role in predicting both vascular efficacy and side-effects of drug candidates earlier in the drug discovery process and thereby reduce the risk of failure in pharmaceutical research and development."
"Vascular inflammation and injury are significant adverse effects for a number of drugs and drug classes," Ernest Bush, Ph.D., Vice President of Collaborative Projects, The Drug Safety Executive Council (DSEC), stated. "Simple cellular systems will never be able to precisely predict how a complex organism such as a human will react to a new chemical entity. However, the closer the test environment is to human physiological conditions the more accurate the resulting outcomes will be. HemoShear's technology advances us closer to human physiology and holds great promise."
This is the third SBIR grant HemoShear has received from the NIH in two years. HemoShear previously received a Phase I SBIR grant which funded development of a human surrogate vascular inflammation system. This system has been validated and is being used in customer research programs. HemoShear was awarded a second Phase I SBIR grant in April 2011 to develop a rodent liver surrogate system as an initial step towards development of an advanced human liver system.
"We are very excited to receive such a significant grant from the NHLBI to fund this work," said Brian Wamhoff, Ph.D., co-founder and Vice-President of Research and Development of HemoShear and co-investigator for the grant. "The pharmaceutical industry has limited ability to meaningfully assess in vitro the human vascular effects of the compounds they are developing. With the increasing safety demands of regulatory bodies like the FDA, new technologies are urgently needed to accurately predict the effects of new drug compounds in humans and understand how to interpret drug effects in animal studies. We are excited to be able to apply our science and technology in this critical area."
Brett Blackman, Ph.D., co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of HemoShear, is the Principal Investigator for the grant. For additional information about this award, please visit our website at www.hemoshear.com/research-grants .
About Drug Safety Executive Council (DSEC)
DSEC is a peer membership organization of over 2,000 drug safety leaders with the common objective of advancing the development of better and safer medicines. Learn more at www.drugsafetycouncil.org . DSEC is managed by Cambridge Healthtech Associates (CHA), the leading organizer and facilitator of consortia and communities in the life sciences industry.
About HemoShear, LLC
HemoShear LLC is a biotechnology research company that combines its scientific expertise with its proprietary platform technology in research collaborations with pharmaceutical companies to accelerate drug discovery and development. HemoShear has expertise in the areas of human and animal biology, bioinformatics and molecular profiling for target identification and validation, cell-signaling pathway analysis, sophisticated methods to quantify target genes and proteins, assessment of molecular pharmacology, and methods to determine mechanisms of action for drug efficacy and safety. HemoShear's technology platform can be adapted to replicate the biology of human or animal organ systems in both healthy and disease-prone states by applying physiologically accurate hemodynamic forces to primary cell cultures. HemoShear is currently collaborating with several large pharmaceutical companies on programs that span the drug discovery and development spectrum. HemoShear is a privately held company located in Charlottesville, Virginia. To learn more about HemoShear, visit www.hemoshear.com .