Charles River Labs to Open Second CRADL Facility in South San Francisco

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Charles River Laboratories plans to open its second Charles River Accelerator and Development Lab (CRADL™) for early-stage drug developers in South San Francisco, CA, early next year. The first CRADL (pictured) opened four years ago in Cambridge, MA [Charles River Laboratories]

Charles River Laboratories plans to ring in 2020 by opening its second Charles River Accelerator and Development Lab (CRADL™) for early-stage drug developers in South San Francisco.

CRADL’s South San Francisco location will be completed and open in January 2020 at 225 Gateway Blvd., in the same building where Charles River operates its existing Center of Excellence for microdialysis and EEG testing.

CRADL is designed to provide flexible, turnkey vivarium rental space supported by Charles River’s technical, vivarium, and veterinary expertise in key biopharma regional clusters.

“South San Francisco is a hub of the biotech industry. We felt it was important to provide a low cost, turnkey vivarium rental service to support the critical research being done in the area,” Ann Murray, Charles River’s director of North American insourcing solutions, told GEN. “For both virtual biotechs and large organizations, vivarium rentals offer an opportunity to extend research capabilities without the sometimes prohibitive cost of infrastructure.”

CRADL sets no time limits for vivarium rentals. Suites are available for short and long-term durations, and can be privately occupied or shared with other partners as a low-cost solution for start-up or pilot research projects.

Murray said the majority of clients attracted to CRADL are drug developers in early discovery phases, seeking to launch or expand their drug research programs: “We see clients utilizing our CRADL space throughout their preclinical drug development process, from target ID to IND-enabling studies.”

In vivo support services

Charles River won’t disclose names of companies that have signed up for space at CRADL in South San Francisco. The company does say that CRADL maintains continuous veterinary oversight, and offers access to Charles River staff for technical procedures and general husbandry, as well as to standard and specialized equipment.

Clients also gain access to Charles River’s portfolio of integrated drug discovery resources and customized in vivo support services, including:

  • Transgenic research model creation services customized to the needs of scientists.
  • A rapid colony development program designed to scale up a small colony of research models to a study cohort as quickly as 12 weeks, using in vitro fertilization (IVF).
  • Custom protocol design and rapid report turnaround for histopathology and tissue collection, drawing on Charles River’s ACVP board-certified veterinary pathologists.

South San Francisco would see Charles River’s second CRADL facility. The first opened four years ago in Cambridge, MA, where Charles River operates a facility at 100 Binney Street.

“When we first opened CRADL Cambridge in 2015, our first clients were virtual biotechs who needed flexible space to conduct their research, but didn’t yet have the capital to spend on building infrastructure,” Murray recalled. “In the years since, we’ve seen that base expand to include larger biotechs and pharma, as well as academic institutions, who see the value in renting vivarium space to extend their research without investing in new space.”

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