CRL buys German mouse model CRO for €34m

By Fiona BARRY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Charles River has acquired a range of PDX mice models (Image: CC)
Charles River has acquired a range of PDX mice models (Image: CC)

Related tags: Cancer, Oncology

Charles River has acquired German preclinical CRO Oncotest GmbH in a €34m ($36m) cash deal.

The transaction will pad CRL’s target discovery and validation services for preclinical oncology customers with more than 400 patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumour models, as well as in vitro ​assays.

Charles River Discovery’s Aidan Synnott told Outsourcing-Pharma.com his company’s legacy oncology service had few PDX mice and was limited to syngeneic models and human tumor cell line xenografts: “The addition of Oncotest creates a premier oncology CRO​.”

PDX models

PDX tumour models, made when human tumours are passaged in mice, can give a closer match to clinical cancers than classic cell-line xenograft models grown in vitro ​for several generations. But it can be easier to interpret the data from xenograft models because they have typically been characterised over many decades. PDX models need genetic and phenotypic characterisation, “as Oncotest has done with its tumor bank,​” said Charles River.

CRO consolidation

As large CROs increasingly buy up smaller, specialty research firms,​ Charles River told us it is responding to clients’ demand for a “compelling value proposition​”:

The outsourcing landscape has changed significantly over the last few years, and now offers us many opportunities to work collaboratively with our clients,​” said Aidan Synnott. “This is the reason that we continue to invest in portfolio expansion, scientific expertise, efficiency initiatives, and our people.​”

The CRO will continue to look for further targets, both whole businesses and tech acquisitions, he said, mainly in upstream. “Such additions will enhance the role we play in supporting our clients’ early-stage drug research processes, by providing critical capabilities and expertise which they do not have in-house, or which enable them to eliminate the internal investment.  We believe that continued successful execution of our strategies will enable us to maintain and enhance our position as the leading pure play, early-stage CRO.​”

Charles River recently acquired microbial testing firm Celsis and egg supplier Sunrise.

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