citybiz+ Drug Developer HemoShear Therapeutics Secures $3.5 Million Debt

HemoShear Therapeutics has secured $3.5 million in debt from undisclosed investors, according to a listing on Crunchbase. The Charlottesville, Va.-based drug developer has raised a total of $63.6 million over nine rounds of funding since its founding in 2008.

New York-based Suvretta Capital Management, Boston-based Adage Capital Management and London-based Janus Henderson Investors are among HemoShear’s backers.

Targeting Rare Metabolic Discorders

With the help of a drug discovery platform called REVEAL-Tx, HemoShear focuses on developing treatments for rare metabolic disorders. The platform helps its scientists create human disease models that can identify the underlying mechanisms of disease, and translate those discoveries into drug targets, before selecting candidate drugs.

In 2021, HemoShear closed a $40 million Series A to complete a phase 2 study of its lead compound, HST5040, as well as to fund future clinical studies and earlier stage programs. HST5040 seeks to develop treatment of two rare genetic disorders caused by the deficiency of certain enzymes required to metabolize amino acids — methylmalonic acidemia (MMA) and propionic acidemia (PA).

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Key Partnerships
HemoShear has a partnership with Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to identify novel therapeutic approaches in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, as well as to develop a human tissue-based model for an undisclosed rare liver disease. It has a similar deal with Horizon Therapeutics to develop drugs for gout.

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Co-founded by James Powers, Brian Wamhoff, and Brett Blackman, HemoShear is led by Wamhoff, who was named interim CEO in August 2022 Wamhoff, who succeeded Powers at the helm, has a Ph. D. in Medical Physiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was previously chief operating officer and head of innovation. Wamhoff has served on the faculty of University of Virginia’s Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division and the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Former GSK scientist Brian Johns, PhD, serves as HemoShear’s chief scientific officer, overseeing a scientific staff of over 30. At GSK, he was a co-inventor of two marketed drugs.