Hurel partners with Sanofi to validate liver tissue construct

Companies will evaluate HurelHuman liver tissue construct as well as HurelFlow microfluidic assay platform

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NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J.—Hurel Corp. has announced the launchof a multi-phase research and development collaboration with Sanofi US ServicesInc., under which Sanofi US will fund a range of studies to investigate the useof Hurel's cell-based products and technologies in preclinical drugdevelopment. Hurel provides advanced tissue constructs and microfluidiccell-based assay platforms for preclinical drug development. The twoorganizations will share the results of the collaboration in one or moreco-authored, peer-reviewed scientific publications. No financial terms for theagreement were released.
"Through collaborating with our network of internal andexternal partners, Sanofi R&D focuses on a translating the findings ofbasic research more quickly and efficiently into meaningful healthcaresolutions," Marc Bonnefoi, head of Sanofi's North America R&D Hub, said ina press release regarding the collaboration. "Our partnership with Hurel is anopportunity to leverage an innovative new life sciences technology toaccelerate drug development and impact the lives of patients."
Initially, the collaboration will focus on the validation ofHurel's HREL 3D liver tissue co-culture for use against a variety ofrequirements typical of preclinical work in drug discovery and development. Theapplications will include toxicological studies as well as drug metabolism andpharmacokinetics.
The HurelHuman livertissue construct makes use of Hurel's proprietary co-culture of primarycryopreserved human hepatocytes to deliver very sensitive and accuratepredictions of the liver-mediated effects drugs will have on humans. Theproduct offers accuracy and responsiveness as well as endurance, as it canfunction over the course of weeks, rather than mere hours or days like many existingin-vitro systems. The constructalso provides stability and ease of use in an industrial laboratory. Hurel alsooffers HurelDog and HurelRat to enable comparison of test results between humans,small animals and large animals.
"Sanofi anchors its approach to R&D in the convictionthat new life-sciences technologies can be of practical value only when theycan translate from the laboratory benchtop all the way to a new medicine thatis demonstrably safe and of novel efficacy in humans, and that receivesregulatory approval," Robert Freedman, CEO of Hurel, commented in a statement."We are honored and thrilled to have such a company as Sanofi choose to be ourR&D collaboration partner. And we are confident that Hurel's technologyconstitutes the kind of game-changing translational tool for which both drugdevelopers and the regulators have been waiting."
Later phases of the collaboration will seek to expand therange of validated applications, in addition to covering HurelFlow, a microfluidic assay platform currently in betatesting. The platform features liquid culture medium, containing any molecularentity being investigated, which is then recirculated along a microfluidicpathway in order to mimic bloodstream circulation through various organs.
SOURCE: Hurel press release

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