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More biomedical expansion for Charles River with new US facility

By Natalie Morrison , 10-Sep-2012
Last updated the 10-Sep-2012 at 14:09 GMT

Charles River has opened a new US biomedical diagnostic facility in a bid to boost its drug discovery and pharmacology business.

The plant – a 60,000 sq ft factory based in Wilmington, Massachusetts – will provide services in research model health monitoring, clinical chemistry, haematology, biomarker assay development and immunoassay services.

The facility will work with a range of biomaterials, including proteins, genes, metabolites, and cellular and microbial endpoints. 

Speaking to Outsourcing-Pharma.com, general manager of research animal diagnostic services Lisa White said that though there are some similar services on the market, it is the facilities “lean” design and broad range of services – from assay design and development to data analysis – which makes it special.

“The facility and operations are designed for lean operations including physical attributes; high-throughput, controlled environments, building monitoring and mechanical systems redundancy to provide an energy and space saving environment,” she said. “This allows us to provide high-throughput, cost effective assay determinations.

“We are a one-stop shop for all types of studies ranging from genetic models to therapeutic profiling.”

White added that the services would be targeted at both biopharmaceutical and academic clients.

Growth strategy

In a statement, president and CEO James Foster also indicated the expansion makes room for further growth in research and development (R&D) services.

“Our new facility provides Charles River with additional capacity for growth, as well as the capability to utilise innovative technology platforms to advance the high-quality R&D services we provide our clients,” he said.

White also told us that the firm strongly believes molecular markers is key in the drug discovery field as researchers move from the age of “serendipitous” findings to “deterministic profiling.”

She said: “We are at an exciting time in biology and medicine that combines new platforms and informatics technologies to identify, and validate new biomarkers that help us unravel many unmet medical needs.  Charles River is dedicated to be a partner in moving these new therapies forward.”

When asked if the expansion was at all tied with Charles River’s recent acquisition of Accugenix – which at the time EU technical service coordinator Guy Mbaya told us was a bid to boost the firm’s overall microbial testing services – White said: “No. The deal with Accugenix was a separate agreement, with no ties to the new facility opening.”

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