Charles River Laboratories said today it has extended its 6-year-old integrated respiratory drug discovery program with Chiesi Farmaceutici, the value of which was not disclosed.

Under the continued collaboration, Charles River said it agreed to provide Chiesi an “extensive” portfolio of integrated drug discovery capabilities to help identify and test Chiesi candidates for preclinical development.

Those capabilities, according to Charles River, include medicinal chemistry, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME)/drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) studies, pharmaceutics, in vitro assays, in vivo models, and safety pharmacology studies.

In addition to drug discovery and basic research services, Charles River offers safety assessment and laboratory support, plus clinical support and manufacturing services.

Charles River said it first agreed to partner with Chiesi in 2011. The Chiesi collaboration is part of what the CRO says is more than 16 years of research activity in respiratory drugs.

During that time, Charles River says, its researchers have been named co-inventors on nearly 70 respiratory patents filed by their clients and produced 25 development candidates. The company’s histology group prepares over 1 million tissues per year, according to its website

“Together, our teams have generated a significant number of patents and development candidates, showing the true power of collaboration in driving safe and effective treatments to the clinic,” Birgit Girshick, corporate svp, global discovery at Charles River, said in a statement. “Over the past 6 years, our integrated respiratory program with Chiesi has been extremely productive.”

Respiratory is among eight areas in which Charles River researchers carry out research; the other seven are cardiovascular, central nervous system, inflammation, metabolic disease, musculoskeletal disease, oncology, and ophthalmology.

Respiratory is also one of Chiesi’s areas of therapeutic focus, along with specialty treatments and rare diseases.

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