Pharma Focus Asia

Horizon Pharma plc and HemoShear Therapeutics Enter into Exclusive Drug Discovery Collaboration in Gout

Friday, January 04, 2019

Horizon Pharma plc  and HemoShear Therapeutics, LLC, a privately held biotechnology company, today announced a collaboration to discover and develop novel therapeutics for gout.

“As we continue to grow our pipeline, we are committed to addressing unmet treatment needs for people with gout as well as solidifying our leadership in uncontrolled gout,” said Shao-Lee Lin, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, head of research and development and chief scientific officer, Horizon Pharma plc. “We are optimistic that this collaboration with HemoShear will eventually identify new gout treatment options.”

HemoShear’s proprietary disease modeling platform, REVEAL-Tx™, combines physiological and computational models of disease to identify novel treatment approaches and select drug candidates in a human-relevant disease context.

“We believe that our proven ability to replicate and interrogate diseases for drug discovery via our platform, coupled with Horizon’s expertise in drug development and in commercializing therapeutics, will yield better therapies for gout patients,” said Jim Powers, chief executive officer, HemoShear.

Under the terms of the agreement, HemoShear will receive upfront payments and R&D funding, and Horizon will receive exclusive access to HemoShear’s proprietary disease modeling platform to discover new therapeutics for gout. Successful development and commercialization of multiple therapies by Horizon will make HemoShear eligible to receive milestone payments of potentially more than $500 million plus royalties. Further financial terms were not disclosed.

Gout is a chronic, progressive inflammatory form of arthritis that is caused by excess uric acid in the body, and needs to be managed aggressively. If uric acid levels in the blood remain elevated, thin rod-like crystals can form and deposit in the joints, which can lead to severe pain, tenderness, stiffness, swelling and joint damage. In addition to the joint damage, urate crystals can also deposit in other organs of the body, and if left unmanaged, gout can lead to significant tissue damage. Uncontrolled gout occurs when people living with gout continue to have high levels of uric acid and gout symptoms despite the use of standard oral urate-lowering therapies.

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