Hurel Corporation and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development Enter Into Joint Scientific Collaboration

Jul 25, 2005, 01:00 ET from Hurel Corporation

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., July 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Hurel Corporation ("Hurel")
 announced today it has entered into a contract with Johnson & Johnson
 Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., ("J&JPRD") under which J&JPRD
 becomes the first pharmaceutical company to enter the Joint Scientific
 Collaboration ("JSC") being organized by Hurel.
     Under the agreement, J&JPRD will provide both scientific guidance and
 funding as Hurel performs a one-year research and development program aimed at
 validating its microfluidic, "in vivo-surrogate" cell-based assay platform
 technology (please see below), and readying Hurel's first product for general,
 commercial release.
     Hurel is currently holding discussions with several additional Fortune 50
 pharmaceutical and consumer products firms that have also expressed interest
 to enter and participate in the Joint Scientific Collaboration.  Hurel
 projects its JSC laboratory activities to commence in the third quarter of
     Mr. Robert M. Freedman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hurel
 Corporation, said, "Hurel's simple technology will enable researchers to
 achieve experimental endpoints of dramatically improved concordance with, and
 predictive relevancy to, the in vivo performance of drugs in humans.  Hurel's
 predictive accuracy will afford greatly improved selectivity in promoting
 preclinical drug candidates into animal studies, and as such Hurel will become
 an important new technological substitute for animal testing.  I'd like to
 thank and congratulate J&JPRD in being the first pharmaceutical research and
 development organization to join, and thereby in enabling us to launch, the
 Hurel Joint Scientific Collaboration."
     Dr. Leslie Z. Benet, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSF and
 Chairman of Hurel's Scientific Advisory Board, said, "At present there are no
 simple, rapid preclinical tools to mimic the in vivo interplay of enzymes and
 transporters.  What is needed is a simple flow-through assembly that must be
 amenable to incorporating hepatocytes and enterocytes from animal species but
 also, alternatively, from humans, and should be high-throughput.  Such a novel
 preclinical tool would provide great insights into the ADME of new molecular
 entities, and expose the reasons for the discordance often found between the
 ADME characteristics of drug molecules across animal species versus humans.  I
 believe that Hurel is that novel preclinical tool. I am looking forward to
 working with J&JPRD towards realizing Hurel's potential."
     Hurel Corporation is the developer of patented, microfluidic "in
 vivo-surrogate" assay platform technologies for cell-based studies.
 Originally invented by Dr. Gregory Baxter (now Hurel's CSO) and Prof. Michael
 Shuler at Cornell University, a Hurel(R) device comprises a "biochip" on which
 reside a number of separate but microfluidically interconnected compartments.
 The different compartments contain cultures of living cells drawn from and/or
 representing different organs or tissues of a living animal.  Microfluidic
 channels between the compartments permit compounds and "blood surrogate" fluid
 to recirculate as in a living system.  The physical geometry of the system is
 designed to simulate certain physiological parameters -- drug residence time,
 circulatory transit time, fluid-to-tissue volume ratios, or others -- so as to
 mimic relevant aspects of the physiology of the living animal.
     The Company's initial product -- a microfluidic circuit that models
 real-time protein binding, metabolism, and extraction in the liver -- will
 comprise the world's first comprehensive, in vitro test of first-pass liver
 bioavailability in humans or other species.  Other Hurel applications slated
 for early development include devices customized for studying various
 multi-organ toxicities (e.g., liver/lung or liver/cardiac), as well as for
 studying the integrated mechanisms of absorption and bioavailability of orally
 administered compounds.
     Additional information is available at:
     Hurel is a registered trademark.

SOURCE Hurel Corporation