The firm, which breeds primates and carries out preclinical research, announced today it is investing $2m at its facilities and headquarters in Yemassee, South Carolina on the back of increased customer demand for its services.
“Our 2016 pace of new business growth was extremely strong, and our 2017 outlook is very positive,” the company said in an official statement. “As a result, we have made it an organizational priority to further enhance our facilities and technical staff to more efficiently meet the growing needs of our customers.”
The preclinical contract research organisation (CRO) employs 125 at the site, but the investment will increase space by 50,000 sq ft and add up to 30 additional jobs by the end of next year.
Despite claims by animal rights group, the use of primates remains essential in the preclinical testing of potential new medicines due to their genetic similarity to humans. A 2011 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Working Group report, however, deemed many biomedical use of chimpanzees unnecessary due to advances in alternative research tools.
“Animals are used in research only when no alternatives exist,” said AGI. “The potential benefits of primate research include an improved understanding of cancer, infectious diseases, neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, basic biological and behavioural processes, and the development of new medicines, vaccines, devices and other treatments, according to scientific researchers.”
Today’s news comes six months after the firm opened a $1m clinical health care facility aimed at improved housing, diagnostic, and treatment equipment for the animals on site.