Charles River cuts staff in Canada; China test site accredited

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Contract research organization Accreditation

US CRO Charles River Laboratories (CRL) has laid off staff at its facility in Montreal, Canada in response to customer postponement of research plans.

The cuts, reported by the New England Journal of Technology​ yesterday, affected 115 employees at CRL wholly-owned ClinTrials BioResearch subsidiary in Senneville in the west of the city.

Company spokesperson Amy Cianciaruso told the Montreal Gazette​ that the move is “something we have previously discussed and while we had expected that these companies would have fully resumed most of their R&D projects, it is clear that is not yet the case​.”

Cianciaruso added that: “Like others in our industry, Charles River has been affected by this slowdown and we are taking the difficult but necessary steps to align our workforce with the current demand​.”

Her suggestion about the difficult market is supported by recent financial reports by CRL’s rivals, particularly those focused on preclinical development, have struggled citing research delays and contract cancellations.

The reduction leaves the Massachusetts, US-headquartered contract research organisation (CRO) with a workforce of around 1,480 employees in Montreal.

CRL is due to present its third-quarter results on November 4 which, given its latest comments, are likely to attract a considerable amount of interest.

Shanghai site cleared by AAALAC, CCAC and SLAC

In more positive news, CRL announced that its facility in Shanghai, China has been approved by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) and the Shanghai Laboratory Animal Commission (SLAC).

The 60,000 sq ft facility, which was opened in 2008, is intended to help CRL capture a share of the country’s expanding preclinical drug testing market.

In a press release, CEO James Foster said the latest accreditations are a significant milestone for the firm’s efforts to develop an animal testing centre of excellence in China.

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