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HemoShear Therapeutics Achieves Milestone in Exclusive Drug Discovery Collaboration

Thursday, July 9, 2020  
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HemoShear Therapeutics, LLC, a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company, has achieved a research milestone in its collaboration with Horizon Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: HZNP) to discover and develop novel therapeutics for gout. In fewer than 18 months, HemoShear’s team has made significant progress and the company will receive an undisclosed milestone payment in accordance with the agreement with Horizon, which was executed in January 2019.

“The collaboration with the Horizon team has been very productive; together we are a great team combining Horizon’s expertise in gout with HemoShear’s discovery platform for novel therapeutics,” said Brian Wamhoff, PhD, chief operating officer and head of innovation, HemoShear. “Our scientists have generated valuable insights into the gout disease process and potential treatment approaches in an accelerated time-frame.”

Under the terms of the January 2019 agreement, HemoShear received an upfront payment and R&D funding, and Horizon received exclusive access to HemoShear’s proprietary disease modeling platform to discover new therapeutics for gout. Successful development and commercialization of multiple therapies by Horizon will make HemoShear eligible to receive milestone payments of potentially more than $500 million plus royalties. Further financial terms were not disclosed.

Gout is a chronic, progressive inflammatory form of arthritis that is caused by excess uric acid in the body, and needs to be managed aggressively. If uric acid levels in the blood remain elevated, thin rod-like crystals can form and deposit in the joints, which can lead to severe pain, tenderness, stiffness, swelling and joint damage. In addition to the joint damage, urate crystals can also deposit in other organs of the body, and if left unmanaged, gout can lead to significant tissue damage. Uncontrolled gout occurs when people living with gout continue to have high levels of uric acid and gout symptoms despite the use of standard oral urate-lowering therapies.

In addition to advancing its program with Horizon, HemoShear recently announced authorization from the FDA to proceed with a Phase 2 study of its proprietary oral small molecule drug for methylmalonic acidemia and propionic acidemia.

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