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HemoShear Collaborating with Pfizer To Help Identify and Predict DIVI

Friday, January 16, 2015  
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HemoShear will have a multi-year platform collaboration with Pfizer Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, which will combine the scientific and technical expertise of both companies, HemoShear will leverage its proprietary discovery platform with the aim to develop a predictive model for preclinical drug-induced vascular injury (DIVI).

"The overall goal of the collaboration is to develop robust biological criteria and associated computational tools to reliably identify and predict DIVI in animals and, ultimately, to elucidate potential drug effects in humans," stated Dr. Brett Blackman, HemoShear Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer.

The initial phase of the collaboration is designed to enable HemoShear and Pfizer to recreate the drivers of DIVI biology in the laboratory using HemoShear Translational Tissue Systems, potentially making it possible to interrogate the molecular effects as well as the underlying physiological and DIVI mechanisms.

DIVI poses a safety dilemma for the pharmaceutical industry because there are limitations to resolve the underlying drivers of vascular injury. In addition, there are no generally accepted, specific 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.

Drugs in development may cause DIVI, such as inflammation or vascular lesions, in animals during testing for drug safety and toxicity. When this occurs, 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 the program altogether in the absence of a clear understanding of the injury and whether an animal response translates to human response.

"HemoShear is pleased to take this next exciting step in our relationship with Pfizer," said Vincent Aurentz, Chief Business Officer at HemoShear. "This collaboration demonstrates the need to better understand underlying molecular and biological mechanisms. We are excited to continue on our path to make a major impact on success in drug discovery."

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