Sanofi partners with biotech to develop preclinical tech

Sanofi's U.S. arm has tapped HμREL to gain access to the biotech's artificial tissues and cell-based technologies aimed at replacing animals in preclinical drug development.

HμREL is pioneering "organ on a chip" in vitro systems for drug development. The North Brunswick, NJ-based biotech's 3-dimensional tissue cultures simulate and predict the in vivo function of the liver and other organs.

Under the R&D collaboration agreement, Sanofi US will fund a range of studies that will evaluate HμREL's technologies, starting with HμREL's HμRELhumanTM 3D liver tissue coculture. The 3-D tissue is designed for use in various experimental requirements conducted in the preclinical phase of drug discovery and development, such as studies of toxicology, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics.

"Our partnership with HμREL is an opportunity to leverage an innovative new life sciences technology to accelerate drug development and impact the lives of patients," said Marc Bonnefoi, head of Sanofi's North America R&D Hub, in a statement.

Different aspects of the collaboration will be carried out in HμREL's New Jersey laboratories as well as at various Sanofi R&D locations in both the United States and Europe, according to a HμREL press release.

HμREL and Sanofi ($SNY) say they plan to publish the results of their R&D partnership.

- here's the HμREL press release