Hurel corporation, a California-based biotech company with a laboratory in North Brunswick, has started a grant program intended to spur research into cell-based models for pharmaceutical and industrial toxicological research.
The company has dedicated $150,000 to the program, which will go to academic research scientists who want to study applications for Hurel’s hepatic tissue cultures. Hurel specializes in developing cell-based tissue constructs and microfluidic assay platforms intended to speed the accuracy of pre-clinical prediction in drug development.
Hurel’s tissue cultures simulate the liver and other organs. New drugs can be tested on Hurel’s tissue cultures, to give scientists an idea of how the real thing would react. Hurel produces tissue cultures simulating human, dog and rat liver cells.
Martin Yarmush, Hurel’s chief scientific adviser, said the company’s latest cultures are designed specifically for use in industrial research, where efficiency, replicability, and ease of use are just as important as how similar the tissue cultures are to real livers.
“With such a ‘workhorse’ platform in hand, we are intensely curious to see how our academic colleagues, drawing on their knowledge and their scientific imaginations, may seek to probe its capabilities and push the envelope of its applications,” Yarmush said.
The formal call for proposals document is currently being finalized and Hurel anticipates releasing it by the end of October. The call for proposals will be available through Hurel’s website. The anticipated application deadline is January 30 and the company expects that grant awards will be announced by March 15.
Hurel Corp., 675 Route 1 South, Technology Center of NJ, North Brunswick 08902; 732-626-5596; fax, 732-745-7270. Robert Freedman, CEO. www.hurelcorp.com.