CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Safer and more effective anticancer drugs may soon be developed thanks to a Small Business Innovation Research contract recently awarded to HemoShear by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). HemoShear, LLC, is the pharmaceutical industry's leading developer of the most advanced human biology systems for applications in drug research and development.
Anticancer drugs continue to suffer the highest rate of failure in clinical trials as compared with other therapeutic areas. According to the NCI, "There is a critical need to improve the accuracy of preclinical drug efficacy screening and testing through the development of [laboratory-based] culture systems that more effectively mimic the [human] environment. Systems to properly recreate the tumor microenvironment are lacking and [are] essential to advance the discovery and development of effective anticancer agents."
HemoShear's contract with the National Cancer Institute will support the development of human cell-based systems that accurately replicate the biology of lung and pancreatic tumors, two of the deadliest groups of tumors. "Lung and pancreatic cancer are terrible diseases that have no effective treatments," said Dr. Brian Wamhoff, HemoShear co-founder and Vice President of R&D. "We are using our innovative science to enable the discovery of new treatments for cancer patients. While billions of dollars continue to be spent on researching and developing new cancer therapies, their success rates in clinical trials are not improving. Imagine a human tumor on the laboratory bench that responds to new therapies as if it were in the human body. That is what our science is capable of achieving," said Dr. Wamhoff.
HemoShear's success in this initial stage of tumor system development will lead to development of other cancer tumor systems, to systems that replicate metastasis and potentially to new treatments for patient-specific tumors.
"This is HemoShear's third major area of SBIR funding from separate divisions of the NIH in three years. We are grateful for the strong support of NIH and the scientific community. We believe that HemoShear science will yield safer and more effective therapies while avoiding costly new drug failures," said Jim Powers, HemoShear's CEO.
HemoShear has developed the only technology of its kind that accurately replicates human organ system and disease biology in the laboratory. HemoShear science is rapidly being adopted by leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to make better decisions and select drug candidates with superior efficacy and safety profiles. Working in partnerships with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, HemoShear generates meaningful data to increase confidence in decision-making and reduce risk of costly failures.
SOURCE HemoShear, LLC