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HemoShear Partners with Expression Analysis (EA) to Develop a Human Drug-Induced Vascular Response Database

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- HemoShear LLC, a biotechnology research company and leading developer of human surrogate systems for discovery and assessment of new drug compounds, today announced a partnership with the genomic services company Expression Analysis (EA) to develop the first comprehensive database for evaluating the vascular pharmacology of new drug compounds. Using HemoShear's human relevant systems, the database will profile how human vascular cells respond at the genomic level to approximately 75 existing drug compounds that span a wide range of drug classes and have been accepted, black-boxed, or withdrawn from the market.

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"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. 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," said Nicole Hastings, Ph.D., HemoShear's Vice President of Laboratory Operations. "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."

EA will generate the database's extensive genomic content by sequencing more than 2,000 human RNA samples. The product will be the transcriptome of each sample, which correlates to the state of the vascular cells in response to a specific drug.

"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. 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," said Wendell Jones, Ph.D., Vice President of Statistics and Bioinformatics at EA.

The partnership will also extend to support HemoShear's Division of Quantitative and Computational Sciences.  EA will provide the bioinformatics and computational infrastructure necessary to process the large volume of genomic data in a defined format from the study's several thousand human samples with consistency and speed in order to accelerate the development of the database.

This work is funded by a $4.3 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

About EA
EA provides cutting-edge genomic sequencing, gene expression, genotyping, and bioinformatics services to the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic test developers, government agencies, and academic labs. All projects are conducted under clinical-grade quality control, ensured through CLIA certification, GLP compliance, and adherence to CLSI guidelines. EA's bioinformatics staff are key contributors to the Food and Drug Administration's MicroArray Quality Control (MAQC) and Sequencing Quality Control (SEQC) studies, which aim to improve standards and quality measures for reliable use of next-generation sequencing and gene expression technologies in clinical practice and regulatory decision-making. As part of its mission to improve human health, EA has donated more than $2.2 million towards academic genomic research grants and its "Leave Your Fingerprint on the Cure" Program for pediatric cancer hosted at the American Society for Human Genetics annual meeting.

About HemoShear LLC
HemoShear creates human-relevant systems that accurately replicate the biology of organ systems and diseases throughout drug discovery and development. Working in strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, HemoShear generates meaningful data to increase confidence in decision-making, reduce risk of costly failures and identify efficacious therapies. HemoShear's science leads to new medicines and improves human health.  

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