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HemoShear Therapeutics Identifies Second Novel Target to Treat NASH Through Successful Collaboration with Takeda

HemoShear Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that a second target identified utilizing the company’s REVEAL-Tx™ human disease modeling platform has been selected by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) for further drug discovery activities for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This marks the successful completion of HemoShear’s exclusive collaboration with Takeda to discover novel targets and develop therapeutics for NASH. In accordance with the collaboration agreement executed in October 2017, HemoShear will receive an undisclosed milestone payment, and Takeda will assume drug discovery and development activities.

“External partnerships are a key part of Takeda’s drug discovery model and our collaboration with HemoShear has been important for advancing our liver disease portfolio,” said Gareth Hicks, PhD, vice president & head of the Gastrointestinal Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda. “Our collaboration delivered on its promise to uncover disease drivers and identified and validated two novel drug targets that modulate these processes. We’ll accelerate these promising targets to treat NASH towards the clinic and will continue our research efforts to develop much-needed treatments for severe liver diseases.”

“We are proud that our REVEAL-Tx™ platform, combining insights from our biological and computational models, has identified and validated two novel therapeutic approaches for NASH with Takeda,” said Ryan Feaver, PhD, head of exploratory biology and program leader for NASH at HemoShear. “Takeda has been an incredible partner at every level, never wavering on the goal to discover first-in-class approaches for the treatment of NASH. We look forward to their team making great strides to develop promising drug candidates.”

HemoShear’s REVEAL-Tx™ platform has been utilized to create a model of NASH that recapitulates hallmark features of liver fat build up, increased cell stress and inflammation, and extracellular matrix signaling that was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. In addition, Nature Scientific Reports published the company’s research analyzing gene expression at various stages of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. 

NASH, one of the leading causes of transplantation, is a serious, chronic liver disease that is estimated to impact over 16 million people in the United States alone. NASH is characterized by inflammation and excessive fat accumulation in the liver that may progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and eventually liver failure. There is currently no FDA approved therapeutic available for NASH and liver fibrosis patients.

Under the terms of the original agreement, HemoShear received upfront payments and R&D funding, and Takeda received exclusive access to HemoShear’s proprietary disease modeling platform to discover and develop best-in-class therapeutics for specific liver diseases. HemoShear is eligible to receive milestone payments of potentially $470 million plus royalties. HemoShear and Takeda are continuing their collaboration under a second agreement established in October 2020 to develop a new human tissue-based model of a rare liver disease using the REVEAL-Tx™ Platform.

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