Schering, acting through its Schering Plough Research Institute (SPRI), signed a contract with Hurel to join the joint scientific collaboration of pharmaceutical firms organized by Hurel.

Under the agreement, SPRI will provide both scientific guidance as well as funding as Hurel continues its one-year R&D program aimed at validating and developing its microfluidic, human-on-a-chip cell-based assay platform technology.

Leslie Z. Benet, professor of biopharmaceutical sciences at UCSF and chairman of Hurel’s scientific advisory board, said, “At present there are no 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, and should be high-throughput. Such a novel tool would provide great insights into the ADME of new molecular entities, expose the reasons for the discordance often found between the ADME characteristics of drug molecules across animal species versus humans, and thereby materially reduce the need to rely on animal studies of the metabolism of drugs intended for humans.”