HemoShear Therapeutics, LLC, a privately held biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing drugs for metabolic disorders, has appointed Brian A. Johns, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Johns joins the company following a prolific 20-year career with GSK, where he co-invented Tivicay® (dolutegravir), one of the most widely prescribed antivirals for HIV in the world. Dr. Johns also discovered an investigational drug called cabotegravir, the first long-acting HIV treatment, which is under FDA review.
“Brian embodies the scientific expertise and passion that enables our industry to improve patients’ lives and transform deadly diseases like HIV into manageable conditions,” said Jim Powers, chairman and CEO of HemoShear Therapeutics. “We are honored to have such an accomplished scientific leader join us. Brian’s experience with multiple treatment modalities, coupled with his extensive experience shepherding drugs into the clinic, will be invaluable as we advance our pipeline of pediatric rare disease therapies.”
Dr. Johns most recently served as Vice President, External Discovery Sciences for ViiV Healthcare, an HIV specialty company majority owned by GSK. In this position, he developed strategic external discovery collaborations to acquire the most relevant and cutting-edge science to employ in the HIV field. Following years of success at GSK, Dr. Johns has spent the past four years working closely with Professor David Margolis as co-director of the UNC HIV Cure Center and Qura Therapeutics, a biotech partnership between ViiV Healthcare and UNC with the mission to find a cure for HIV. Along with his extensive experience from early discovery through phase 2 clinical development, Dr. Johns has authored or co-authored 50 peer reviewed journal articles and is an inventor on approximately 70 patent applications. He received a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Wayne State University and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia.
“I joined HemoShear’s team because of their mission to address a significant unmet need, deep dedication to understand diseases, and passion for their work and cause. Coming from a very rewarding experience in HIV, I was looking to be involved in a field where I could make a big difference again,” said Dr. Johns. “Discovering and developing treatments for pediatric rare metabolic diseases where no therapeutic options exist is a noble cause and one I look forward to committing my experience, scientific know-how and energy.”
HemoShear Therapeutics discovers novel biological targets and advances drug programs to treat metabolic disorders with significant unmet patient need. HemoShear’s drug discovery platform, REVEAL-Tx™, enables the Company’s scientists to create best-in-class, biologically relevant human disease models to uncover and explain the underlying mechanisms of disease, translate those discoveries into drug candidates, and predict which candidates will treat patients successfully. HemoShear’s proprietary drug discovery programs are focused on rare genetic metabolic disorders. In addition, the Company has exclusive partnerships to discover novel therapeutic approaches in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with Takeda and in gout with Horizon Therapeutics.
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