Pfizer, HemoShear collaboration to create new 'safety paradigm'

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock
Image: iStock

Related tags: Drug discovery, Pre-clinical development, Pharmacology, Pfizer

HemoShear Therapeutics has teamed up with Pfizer to develop a predictive model for preclinical drug-induced vascular injury (DIVI).

The companies announced yesterday that they would be initiating the next stage of the multi-year collaboration. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

The initial stage of the collaboration involved assessing the repeatability of vascular toxicities of a specifically chosen set of drugs in HemoShear’s proprietary discovery platform, REVEAL-Tx. 

Now, the companies will use the platform to assess a large number of compounds in order to create predictive computational model. The model would then be used to evaluate the vascular safety of Pfizer drug compounds before the pre-clinical development stage.

Drug toxicity discovered in pre-clinical or clinical trials has serious implications for drug development​,” said Jim Powers, HemoShear CEO.  “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​.”

Currently, there are no commonly accepted diagnostic or predictive biomarkers to predict when DIVI will occur. Additionally, no models exist to select the safest compound prior to animal testing. Creating a model is important, because if drug toxicity does occur in an animal, the program could encounter significant delays and additional costs, or even cancelation.

Meeting a need

HemoShear is also pursuing its own drug discovery programs in metabolic diseases with high unmet need. Last week, the company announced it created the first biologically responsive model of propionic academia (PA), a fatal children's metabolic disorder.

Using REVEAL-Tx, HemoShear, in conjunction with Children's National Health System, the team was able to recapitulate the disease in the lab and has subsequently begun drug discovery programs to treat and potentially cure PA.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time anyone has been able to use liver tissue from a patient with propionic acidemia to recreate the biology of the disease in the laboratory​," said Marshall Summar, M.D., Chief of the Division of Genetics and Metabolism and the Margaret O'Malley Chair of Molecular Genetics at Children's National. "It is very difficult to gain meaningful response data about this disease from animal studies​."

Related topics: Preclinical Research

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