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HemoShear, Expression Analysis announce partnership
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. Biotechnology research company HemoShear, LLC, and Expression Analysis, a genomic services company, have announced a new partnership. The companies will partner on the development of the first comprehensive database for the evaluation of the vascular pharmacology of new drug compounds. By utilizing HemoShear's human relevant systems, the database will be able to profile how human vascular cells respond at the genomic level to roughly 75 existing drug compounds in a variety of drug classes.
"Pharmaceutical companies can use this database to establish a true risk profile of their compounds and investigate potential positive or negative effects. A number of diabetes drugs, for example, have been shown to have adverse cardiovascular effects in humans," Nicole Hastings, Ph.D., vice president of Laboratory Operations at HemoShear, said in a press release. "We can provide insights about the risks associated with continuing development of new compound candidates by comparing to other drugs in our database that are related by class, genomic signature or mechanism of action. We partnered with EA because its staff's unrivaled gene expression expertise and throughput are essential to HemoShear's successful and timely development of this landmark database."  
Expression Analysis will work to generate genomic content for the database by sequencing more than 2,000 human RNA samples. The end result will be the transcriptome of each RNA sample, which is related to the state of vascular cells in response to different drugs.  
The partnership between the two companies will also extend to include support of HemoShear's Division of Quantitative and Computational Sciences. Expression Analysis will provide both the bioinformatics and computational infrastructure required to process the vast amount of genomic data in a defined format with speed and consistency.  
"Sequencing the transcriptome can reveal the expressed quantities of protein-coding messages and isoforms of all active genes as well as detect novel post-transcriptional modifications that HemoShear and the scientific 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, traditional techniques such as microarrays can only detect changes in expression of predetermined genetic content within a more limited dynamic range. Transcriptome sequencing enables HemoShear to develop the most comprehensive and sustainable database for evaluating drug vascular safety and efficacy."  
The companies' work is being funded by a $4.3 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). HemoShear first announced the receipt of the grant in August of last year, when the company was originally working to profile the effects of 50 drugs on the human vascular system. The grant represents the third SIBR grant HemoShear has received from the NIH in two years. One of the other grants the company received was a Phase I SBIR grant for the development of a human surrogate vascular inflammation system, which has been validated and is now being used in customer research programs. The second Phase I SBIR grant was received in April 2011 for the development of a rodent liver surrogate system, the first step towards developing an advanced human liver system.
SOURCE: HemoShear press release
Code: E07111200



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