Charles River Laboratories’ leading-edge products and services enable clients to bring drugs to market faster and more efficiently. Backed by rigorous, best-in-class procedures and proven data collection, analysis and reporting capabilities, Charles River’s research models, preclinical services and phase 1 clinical services are unequalled in the drug development business.

With headquarters in Boston, US, Charles River has a truly global influence with major facilities throughout the rest of the US, Montreal in Canada and Edinburgh in the UK.

Its 7,500 members of staff worldwide provide a vast array of solutions that advance the drug discovery and development process. The customer base includes major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide as well as leading academic institutions and government research centres.

Safety specialists

The company has an exceptional team of scientists, which includes toxicologists, pathologists, veterinary surgeons, regulatory specialists and support personnel. For over 40 years, the team has designed and performed safety programmes ranging from acute through chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity studies. It offers a broad range of animal models and numerous routes of administration.

In addition, Charles River leads the industry in the fields of developmental and reproductive toxicology, photobiology, inhalation toxicology, intravenous infusion, immunotoxicology and other speciality toxicological assessments. It also provides the highest quality analytical services for clinical trials and preclinical safety programmes: including bioanalysis, central laboratories, immunology, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, formulation development and a full consulting and programme management service.

Facilities and support

Charles River has recently expanded its phase 1 capabilities and now has a global presence in both Europe and North America. The European phase 1 unit was established in 1988 and is situated close to the preclinical facility in Edinburgh. The unit comprises a well-equipped 62-bed facility with a dedicated manufacturing section and a sample processing laboratory. The North American facility, founded in 1995 and based in Tacoma, Washington, is the industry leader in the Pacific North West and provides a built-to-suit facility with 250 beds.

Charles River has extensive experience in conducting the full range of services for phase 0, 1 and 2 clinical studies of investigational drugs, vaccines and devices. Clinical staff include physicians, registered nurses, clinical research associates and pharmacists.
Expansion at the Edinburgh preclinical site and the construction of brand new facilities in both Reno and Shrewsbury in the USA will see Charles River’s capabilities further enhanced with the addition of more highly trained staff to the company’s infrastructure, as well as substantially increased capacity at each of the sites.

Humane Care Initiative

Charles River is committed to the humane care of the research animals produced and used in all of its activities. The Humane Care Initiative supports this core value. Commitment to animal welfare is critical to accelerating the search for healthier lives.

The aim of the Humane Care Initiative is to ensure that Charles River continues as a worldwide leader in the humane care of laboratory animals. Laboratory animals are important resources that further the knowledge of living systems and contribute to the discovery of life-saving drugs and procedures. Charles River works hand-in-hand with the scientific community to understand how living conditions, handling procedures, and stress play an important role in the quality and efficiency of research. As animal caregivers and researchers, the company is responsible to its clients and the public for the health and well-being of the animals in its care.

The initiative’s goals include:

  • Establish best practices across business units worldwide
  • Heighten internal awareness of the importance of humane care
  • Ensure a culture of caring
  • Enhance orientation and training
  • Foster animal welfare worldwide through the efforts of the Charles River Laboratories Foundation

The Humane Care Initiative is directed by the company’s Animal Welfare and Training Group, a team of professionals committed to animal welfare and trained in laboratory animal medicine and science, training, and education and ethics.

Company profile

Charles River Laboratories was established in 1946.