Pharma Focus Asia

Charles River Laboratories Acquires Explora BioLabs

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. announced today that it has acquired Explora BioLabs Holdings, Inc., a premier provider of contract vivarium research services.

Based in San Diego, California, Explora BioLabs offers contract vivarium operation services, providing biopharmaceutical clients with turnkey in vivo vivarium facilities, management, and related services to efficiently conduct their early-stage research activities. Explora BioLabs currently operates more than 15 preclinical vivarium facilities, offering AAALAC-accredited, turnkey rental space in the Southern California, San Francisco, and Boston-Cambridge biohubs, with a planned expansion in Seattle in 2022. With over 100 employees, it also offers contract vivarium management, staffing, and regulatory solutions to manage clients’ research sites.

The acquisition of Explora BioLabs complements and expands the Charles River Accelerator and Development Lab (CRADL™) operation, which is part of Charles River’s Insourcing Solutions business. CRADL™ provides AAALAC-accredited, full-service, turnkey vivarium rental space supported by Charles River’s technical, vivarium, and veterinary expertise for emerging and well-established biopharmaceutical companies and academic research institutions in key biohubs, including Boston-Cambridge, San Francisco, and China. The Company’s outsourced vivarium services allow clients to quickly start and focus on their early-stage research in a flexible manner within high-quality, biosecure facilities with reduced research risk through access to Charles River’s expertise in veterinary care.

The combined Explora BioLabs and CRADL operation is expected to include at least 25 vivarium facilities by the end of 2022, providing over 300,000 square feet of turnkey rental capacity in key biohubs, including expansions in the United States and internationally. In addition, clients utilizing CRADL™ and Explora BioLabs will have the added benefit of accessing other Charles River services, including its integrated discovery and non-clinical development expertise, which will provide opportunities to further enhance the speed and efficiency of their research programs and facilitate the progression towards an Investigational New Drug (IND) filing.

James C. Foster, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles River Laboratories, commented, “With its presence in West Coast biohubs, the acquisition of Explora BioLabs complements our existing CRADL™ footprint and offers incremental opportunities to partner with an emerging, high-growth client base, many of which are engaged in cell and gene therapy development.”

“Our clients’ drive for flexibility and efficiency is generating robust demand for turnkey research capacity. By outsourcing their vivarium space, our clients can focus on accelerating their scientific research, instead of daily vivarium management or building infrastructure. As biopharmaceutical companies turn to CRADL™, they will be able to easily access additional services across our comprehensive discovery and non-clinical development portfolio, further accelerating their research. We believe the addition of Explora BioLabs will enhance the CRADL™ value proposition for clients, and further solidifies the Company’s focus on the Research Models and Services segment as a sustained growth engine. We are pleased to welcome the Explora BioLabs team to the Charles River family,” Mr. Foster concluded.

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