CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Safe, new life-saving drug therapies may flow faster to patients who need them most, stimulated by a $1.6 million grant to HemoShear, LLC, from a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). HemoShear, LLC, is the pharmaceutical industry's leading developer of the most advanced human-relevant systems for applications in drug R&D.
The grant from NIH supports the advancement of HemoShear's breakthrough technology, which leaps past decades-old methods for determining safety and efficacy of new drug candidates. In addition to the transformative human benefits of improved drug therapies, HemoShear's technology could improve new drug development success rates while saving hundreds of millions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry in costly, misguided decisions.
"HemoShear's extensive data are impressive. This is a very challenging space, and I have never before seen a technology that comes as close to replicating human liver biology in the laboratory," said Dr. Gerald Fisher, a HemoShear advisor and former senior vice president of Drug Safety at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, liver toxicity is the most frequent cause of discontinuation of clinical trials for new drugs. HemoShear's unique science accurately replicates the conditions that human cells experience in the body, avoiding unexpected drug toxicity findings in clinical studies and improving confidence in advancing optimal drug candidates. The Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a division of NIH, is intended to demonstrate that the Company's advanced, human-relevant science can predict the safety of new drug candidates well before the costly clinical stages of drug development.
The award is HemoShear's second phase II SBIR grant from NIH in three years, demonstrating strong support by NIH and the scientific community for HemoShear's science. HemoShear is already collaborating with a select group of major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to assess the efficacy of new drugs that target the liver and to understand unexpected causes of toxicity.
"We are grateful for the support of our grant application by senior pharmaceutical executives and scientists who are actively seeking better systems with which to assess liver safety of their drug candidates," said Dr. Ajit Dash, HemoShear's senior scientific director who leads the liver systems development program.
About HemoShear, LLC
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 collaboration with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, HemoShear generates meaningful data to increase confidence in decision-making and reduce risk of costly failures.