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 2005. 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: www.hurelcorp.com. Hurel is a registered trademark.
SOURCE Hurel Corporation