Pfizer Inc. and HemoShear, a privately held biotechnology company, are collaborating to develop methods to predict drug-induced vascular injury (DIVI) – a complication that slows or stops the development of many promising new drug candidates.

As Hemoshear’s press release explains:

Drugs in development may cause DIVI, such as inflammation or vascular lesions, in animals during testing for drug safety and toxicity. When this occurs, significant program delays and additional costs are incurred to investigate and explain the underlying biology and determine whether the compound is safe to move forward to human testing, or to determine if another compound would be safer. In some cases, decisions are made to stop the program altogether in the absence of a clear understanding of the injury and whether an animal response translates to human response.

The collaboration will make use of Hemoshear’s computational models and “translational tissue systems” — species-specific multidimensional tissue structures that replicate circulation and other physiological dynamics. Using these tissue systems, Hemoshear is able to run comparative studies (human tissues versus other animal tissues) that show whether, and how, human and animal responses differ.

The Pfizer/HemoShear collaboration has the potential to prevent unnecessary additional animal testing, and to reduce the cost and time it takes to bring new medications to market.


Read more about HemoShear’s translational tissue systems here.