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L'OREAL and Hurel Corporation Announce R&D Collaboration to Develop a Non-Animal Alternative, Microfluidic Biochip
Date:1/14/2010

PARIS and NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- L'OREAL and Hurel Corporation ("Hurel") today jointly announced that they have achieved the initial milestone of a research and development collaboration to create a new and transformational in vitro test for potential allergic reactions to substances that could come into contact with the skin.  The new device, named "Allergy Test on a Chip™," is intended to comprise a technological substitute for the animal test known as the local lymph node assay ("LLNA").  LLNA is presently accepted by regulatory agencies worldwide as a standard means for evaluating potential allergenic responses to new ingredients of consumer and industrial products.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with Hurel in the development of Allergy Test on a Chip, which is totally in line with our 25-year commitment in non-animal toxicology," said Jacques Leclaire, Ph.D., Director of Life Sciences Research at L'OREAL.  "Hurel's microdevice represents cutting-edge research and development, directed towards creating a breakthrough technology complementing our efforts in building alternative, integrated testing strategies.  While the ultimate success of this advanced and complex research project is not a certainty, the critical goal it addresses makes it a most worthwhile endeavor for us as a company."

R&D activities of the collaboration are being performed by Hurel in the United States, with contributions by L'OREAL's scientific team.  Allergy Test on a Chip, a patented embodiment of Hurel's multi-tissue, microfluidic cell culture technology, will integrate a reconstructed human skin; a separate cell culture capable of simulating a human immune system response (i.e., an allergic reaction); and means of microfluidically-mediated signaling between the skin construct where the allergenic stimulus originates and the immune system construct where the response to that stimulus occurs.  

In its recently completed first year, the collaboration achieved its initial milestone of demonstrating the microfluidic signaling component of the device.  In vivo, in response to an allergen contacting the skin, certain cells migrate out of the skin and into a nearby lymph node, where they signal the immune system to launch an allergic reaction.  Achieving the initial milestone entailed simulating this process of migration in a prototype microfluidic device.

"We are gratified to have achieved the initial milestone of our collaboration, and thrilled to play a key role as L'OREAL spearheads new, non-animal testing methods in the cosmetics industry," commented Robert Freedman, Chief Executive Officer of Hurel Corporation.  "Allergy Test on a Chip, if globally adopted, may dramatically reduce the use of animal tests in safety evaluation; and in part for this reason it has considerable commercial potential as well.  L'OREAL deserves tremendous credit for making the investments that will help create the toxicology of the twenty-first century.  Hurel takes the greatest pride in collaborating with a company of L'OREAL's global stature."

About L'OREAL

L'OREAL is the world leader in the cosmetics industry, developing innovative products to meet the diverse needs of customers in 130 countries worldwide.  Nearly 3,000 people work in the Group's 18 research centers, located in France, Asia and America.  Their findings are responsible for the registration of hundreds of patents annually.  

About Hurel Corporation

Hurel Corporation is the world leader in developing microfluidic, multi-tissue cell cultures and assay platforms which provide in vitro alternatives to animal testing while offering improved human-relevance of toxicological and metabolic prediction to scientists in the pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetics, consumer products and industrial products industries.  More information is available at http://www.hurelcorp.com/

SOURCE Hurel Corporation

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