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Hurel Corporation Launches Cell-Based In Vitro Testing Product Suite

Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
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Suite is milestone in movement away from use of live animals in drug and toxicity testing.

Test data affirms that Hurel's cell-based technology delivers reliable and reproducible results across cell cultures from three primary species used in drug development testing – rat, dog and human.

Hurel Corporation announced the commercial launch of its innovative in vitro product suite utilizing liver cells of the rat, dog and human species.  The announcement coincided with Hurel’s Scientific Advisory Board Chairman Dr. Leslie Z. Benet’s presentation of data generated using Hurel’s products, which he gave at The Boston Society’s HT-ADME 2013 conference, held today at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The commercial availability of the Hurel products marks a milestone in the transition away from the use of live animals in drug and toxicity testing, towards new cell-based technologies that can substitute for and deliver more usefully predictive results than animal-based testing often can.

Hurel’s cell-based products, respectively named HμRELHuman™, HμRELDog™, and HμRELRat™, are made from actual liver cells derived from the human, dog, or rat species.  The cells, which have previously been cryopreserved, are reconstituted and restored to functionality in Hurel’s laboratories.   Formulated as a “co-culture” of two different, naturally occurring types of cells found in the liver, Hurel’s products are distinctive for their high metabolic competency and responsiveness, the stability of their response levels day after day, and their long-lived endurance.  These attributes together enable researchers to perform kinds of experiments that may require a week or multiple weeks to carry out, cannot be completed in the limited span of days or hours afforded by the in vitro products in wide use today, and thus have frequently been conducted in live animals up until now.

Dr. Benet’s presentation at HT-ADME 2013 demonstrated, within the specific scientific arena of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, that Hurel’s products can provide greatly improved insight into drugs that take a long time to be biochemically broken down (metabolized) by the liver and thus “cleared” from the bodily system; can identify differences in the metabolite molecules that a drug produces when administered in humans, dogs, or rats, respectively; and can provide in vitro data that justifies the early elimination of inappropriate pre-clinical animal species from further use in the investigation of a particular pre-clinical drug candidate.   In sum, Dr. Benet’s presentation demonstrated that Hurel’s products represent an important step in the pathway of reducing animal tests and substituting them with in vitro cell-based tests.

“Recently, the nation’s attention was riveted by the news that the National Institutes of Health is retiring its chimpanzees from further use in biomedical research.  Hurel is pleased to demonstrate that its cell-based products comprise powerful, broadly applicable new tools that in many applications are not only more effective and predictive than existing in vitro methods, but are also more effective and predictive than live animal testing, and thus afford the technological means to extend the NIH’s reduction in the use of lab animals to include increasing numbers of animals of other species in addition to chimps,” said Robert Freedman, Hµrel’s Chairman and CEO.  “Hurel’s launch of the HμRELHuman™, HμRELDog™, and HμRELRat™ product line helps respond to the needs of society, the regulatory agencies and industry to reduce the extent of animal testing in drug development.”

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