Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Outsourcing Animal Testing a Growing Business

Here is an article on CNN about Charles River Labs, which contracts with companies and other entities to do animal testing. Business is booming.

Charles River operates 80 facilities in 15 countries. It also works at customer sites.

"It's all about drug companies having pipelines that are not very good," Foster said. "That means drug companies really have to work hard to replenish those drugs, or their sales and profits will drop precipitously."

Customers include pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, government research agencies and universities.

"We're actually building huge facilities to do the work for our clients," Foster said. "No drug companies are building new animal facilities."

Not only will new construction solve capacity crunches -- by building facilities closer to customers, shipping costs can be reduced.

The company's capital expenditures have grown from $40 million in 2004 to about $225 million this year, Foster says.

The firm completed a new animal lab in Massachusetts early this year and is finishing a 450,000-square-foot preclinical facility in Reno, Nev., expected to open in January. A 300,000-square-foot lab is under way in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

About 50% of a new animal research building under construction in Maryland will be for work generated by the National Cancer Institute.

China won't be left out, either. Charles River formed a joint venture with a preclinical services firm in Shanghai, where it is building a new 50,000-square-foot facility.

Yes, I can't wait for drug testing from China. That will get rid of those pesky activists. And look at all the wonderful things they've done with toys and dog food!

Photo by Jurvetson

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