Medford, MA, June 27, 2012 - Hepregen Corporation, a leading provider of bioengineered solutions for drug development, announced today that the company has received a grant for $500,000 from the National Science Foundation under the SBIR Phase II-B Program. This latest award, along with a Challenge Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a Mass Life Science Center Small Business Matching Grant and earlier grant awards, total nearly $3.0M in state and federal non-dilutive financing.
"As an enabling technology, the HepatoPac™ platform provides high-value information to the pharmaceutical industry," commented Bonnie Fendrock, Hepregen's President and CEO. "Creating predictive in vitro models is an important area of opportunity in drug development. This NSF grant allows us to expand our HepatoPac™ offering to include other preclinical species, which is important in refining and reducing animal studies during drug development. We are very excited by the work that we have done to date with pharmaceutical companies who recognize the potential of HepatoPac™, not only as a predictive platform, but also as an enabling technology in drug discovery."
The NSF grant provides further support to Hepregen for the project entitled, "Development of a Human Liver Platform for High-Throughput Screening of Drug-Induced Liver Injury and Drug-Drug Interaction." Principal Investigator of the grant, Dr. Okechukwu Ukairo, Sr. Principal Scientist at Hepregen, will direct the further development of Human HepatoPac™ as a product offering and optimize additional in vitro preclinical species HepatoPac™ platforms.
Eighty percent of all drugs are metabolized or detoxified in the liver; therefore, the safety of drugs as they travel through the liver is of prime importance to the pharmaceutical industry. Hepregen is developing a unique, bioengineered microliver platform as a highly functional model of the liver in vivo. The potential of Hepregen's HepatoPac™ platform is to provide higher content data for faster, more informed decision making, while offering significant value in the drug development process for better and safer medicines.
About Hepregen Corporation
Hepregen's mission is to translate the value of its technology platform to improve the safety and efficacy of drugs in development with greater economic efficiency and significant impact on patients' lives. The company is focused on advancing and commercializing its microliver platform, HepatoPac™, into the drug-development pipeline of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Hepregen's platform technology offers the potential to deliver a breakthrough technology for toxicity screening and a new platform for drug discovery. It combines sophisticated biological and engineering technologies to create an in vitro liver model which closely mimics many key functions of the human liver. In 2008, Battelle Ventures spun out Hepregen Corporation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and led the company's Series A financing.
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