HµREL® Providing Cell-Based Models To EPA’s TOXCAST Program

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HµREL® is providing its cell-based microliver models to the EPA's TOXCAST Program to equip EPA with new tools for better prediction of potentially toxic environmental chemicals.

Hurel Corporation (“Hurel”), a world-leading maker of in vitro cell-based microliver models that bring improved prediction of potential human toxicity to pre-clinical drug development and the study of environmental chemicals, announced that it is providing its patented HµRELhuman™ and HµRELrat™ microliver co-cultures for use in the TOXCAST Program operated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). The announcement is made concurrently with the Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) in New Orleans, where Hurel’s Chief Scientific Officer will make a presentation on Wednesday. Utilization of Hurel’s cell-based models in the EPA TOXCAST Program has been underway for several months.

Experiments are being performed for EPA TOXCAST by Acea Biosciences of San Diego, CA (“Acea”), and results are being monitored and analyzed by Acea using their patented xCELLigence® Real-Time Cell Analyzer® instrumentation. The Acea instruments track the responses of the Hurel microlivers to potentially toxic chemicals in real time over 14-day, repeat-dosing experimental courses. The Hurel microlivers are made from actual (“primary”) liver cells of the human and, separately, the rat species, affording the ability to assess differences in the two species’ responses to a particular chemical and, of particular interest, to indicate instances when toxicity data generated from experiments on live rats may not correctly predict the likelihood of toxicity occurring in humans. Third-party studies have found that the Hurel cell-based microliver models possess a superior ability to generate the “reactive” metabolites that frequently cause a chemical to be toxic; this attribute of superior metabolic competency that endures stably for weeks is expected to be the prime driver of information of improved predictive capacity delivered to EPA.

James S. MacDonald, PhD, DABT, who serves on the Board of Directors of Hurel and formerly was Executive Vice President of Pre-Clinical Development of the Schering-Plough Research Institute prior to Schering-Plough’s acquisition by Merck & Co., commented, “I am particularly excited about this collaboration between the US EPA, Hurel and Acea as it represents a good example of how novel, cutting-edge science can be applied to address important human health issues. We are looking forward to understanding how data from this system can be applied to better understand potential human health risks from chemical exposure.”

The combination of Acea’s and Hurel’s technologies being utilized by EPA is also made available to the general scientific community both through the direct sale of Hurel microlivers (drawn from the human, dog, rat, mouse, monkey, or minipig species) pre-cultured in Acea microtiter plates and air-shipped “warm” and ready for immediate use upon arrival at the customer’s lab; as well as on a fee-for-service, multi-parametric contract screening basis offered by Hurel under the trade name HµRELTOX™. Acea’s and Hurel’s collaborative activities are proceeding under the Technology and Co-Marketing Alliance that the two companies initiated together in 2014. Acea is EPA’s prime contractor for the work currently being performed for the TOXCAST Program, with Hurel functioning as Acea’s sub-contractor.

At the SOT Annual Meeting currently underway in New Orleans, Hurel’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Eric Novik, will show data on Hurel’s and Acea’s combined technologies as a part of his presentation, “Utilizing Long-Enduring Primary Hepatic Co-Culture Models to Gain Improved, Mechanism-Specific Insights on Cholestasis and Reactive Metabolites,” at 10:30AM on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Room 212 of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

About ACEA Biosciences, Inc.

Founded in 2002, ACEA Biosciences, Inc. is a pioneer in the development and commercialization of high performance, cutting-edge cell analysis platforms for life science research. Researchers are advancing their studies utilizing over 1,300 placed instruments for broad and diverse applications. The technology has been cited in over 500 peer reviewed publications. ACEA’s xCELLigence impedance-based, label-free, real time cell analysis system and NovoCyte flow cytometers are used in pre-clinical drug discovery and development, toxicity, safety pharmacology, and basic academic research.

About Hurel®

With labs in North Brunswick, NJ, Hurel Corporation is a world-leading provider of advanced liver tissue constructs and microfluidic cell-based assay platforms that are used in pre-clinical drug development by major pharmaceutical and biotechnology research organizations, as well as in the toxicological testing of industrial materials and consumer products.

More information about ACEA Biosciences may be found at http://aceabio.com.

More information about Hurel may be found at http://hurelcorp.com.

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