CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—Biotechnology research companyHemoShear, LLC, and Expression Analysis, a genomic services company, haveannounced a new partnership. The companies will partner on the development ofthe first comprehensive database for the evaluation of the vascularpharmacology of new drug compounds. By utilizing HemoShear's human relevantsystems, the database will be able to profile how human vascular cells respondat the genomic level to roughly 75 existing drug compounds in a variety of drugclasses.
"Pharmaceutical companies can use this database toestablish a true risk profile of their compounds and investigate potentialpositive or negative effects. A number of diabetes drugs, for example, havebeen shown to have adverse cardiovascular effects in humans," Nicole Hastings,Ph.D., vice president of Laboratory Operations at HemoShear, said in a pressrelease. "We can provide insights about the risks associated with continuingdevelopment of new compound candidates by comparing to other drugs in ourdatabase that are related by class, genomic signature or mechanism of action.We partnered with EA because its staff's unrivaled gene expression expertiseand throughput are essential to HemoShear's successful and timely developmentof this landmark database."
Expression Analysis will work to generate genomic contentfor the database by sequencing more than 2,000 human RNA samples. The endresult will be the transcriptome of each RNA sample, which is related to thestate of vascular cells in response to different drugs.
The partnership between the two companies will also extendto include support of HemoShear's Division of Quantitative and ComputationalSciences. Expression Analysis will provide both the bioinformatics andcomputational infrastructure required to process the vast amount of genomicdata in a defined format with speed and consistency.
"Sequencing the transcriptome can reveal the expressedquantities of protein-coding messages and isoforms of all active genes as wellas detect novel post-transcriptional modifications that HemoShear and thescientific community have yet to identify as significant," Wendell Jones,Ph.D., vice president of Statistics and Bioinformatics at Expression Analysis,said in a press release regarding the deal. "In contrast, traditionaltechniques such as microarrays can only detect changes in expression ofpredetermined genetic content within a more limited dynamic range.Transcriptome sequencing enables HemoShear to develop the most comprehensiveand sustainable database for evaluating drug vascular safety and efficacy."
The companies' work is being funded by a $4.3 million PhaseII Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Heart,Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). HemoShearfirst announced the receipt of the grant in August of last year, when thecompany was originally working to profile the effects of 50 drugs on the humanvascular system. The grant represents the third SIBR grant HemoShear hasreceived from the NIH in two years. One of the other grants the companyreceived was a Phase I SBIR grant for the development of a human surrogatevascular inflammation system, which has been validated and is now being used incustomer research programs. The second Phase I SBIR grant was received in April2011 for the development of a rodent liver surrogate system, the first steptowards developing an advanced human liver system.
SOURCE: HemoShear press release