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Hurel partners with Sanofi to validate liver tissue construct
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J.Hurel Corp. has announced the launch of a multi-phase research and development collaboration with Sanofi US Services Inc., under which Sanofi US will fund a range of studies to investigate the use of Hurel's cell-based products and technologies in preclinical drug development. Hurel provides advanced tissue constructs and microfluidic cell-based assay platforms for preclinical drug development. The two organizations will share the results of the collaboration in one or more co-authored, peer-reviewed scientific publications. No financial terms for the agreement were released.  
"Through collaborating with our network of internal and external partners, Sanofi R&D focuses on a translating the findings of basic research more quickly and efficiently into meaningful healthcare solutions," Marc Bonnefoi, head of Sanofi's North America R&D Hub, said in a press release regarding the collaboration. "Our partnership with Hurel is an opportunity to leverage an innovative new life sciences technology to accelerate drug development and impact the lives of patients."
Initially, the collaboration will focus on the validation of Hurel's HREL 3D liver tissue co-culture for use against a variety of requirements typical of preclinical work in drug discovery and development. The applications will include toxicological studies as well as drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics.  
The HurelHuman liver tissue construct makes use of Hurel's proprietary co-culture of primary cryopreserved human hepatocytes to deliver very sensitive and accurate predictions of the liver-mediated effects drugs will have on humans. The product offers accuracy and responsiveness as well as endurance, as it can function over the course of weeks, rather than mere hours or days like many existing in-vitro systems. The construct also provides stability and ease of use in an industrial laboratory. Hurel also offers 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 conviction that new life-sciences technologies can be of practical value only when they can translate from the laboratory benchtop all the way to a new medicine that is demonstrably safe and of novel efficacy in humans, and that receives regulatory 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 our R&D collaboration partner. And we are confident that Hurel's technology constitutes the kind of game-changing translational tool for which both drug developers and the regulators have been waiting."  
Later phases of the collaboration will seek to expand the range of validated applications, in addition to covering HurelFlow, a microfluidic assay platform currently in beta testing. The platform features liquid culture medium, containing any molecular entity being investigated, which is then recirculated along a microfluidic pathway in order to mimic bloodstream circulation through various organs.  
SOURCE: Hurel press release
Code: E10031301



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