Charles River expands PathoQuest biologics testing partnership, makes investment

Charles River Laboratories intends to make a direct investment in PathoQuest. (Charles River)

A year and a half into a strategic partnership using PathoQuest’s next-generation sequencing (NGS) services, Charles River Laboratories appears happy with what it gets and intends to make a direct investment in PathoQuest.

Charles River partnered with PathoQuest in September 2016 to offer clients NGS solutions for biologics viral contamination testing and cell-line genetic characterization, as well as viral safety testing of other materials used in the development of biologics.

Spun out from Institut Pasteur, PathoQuest’s high-throughput sequencing technology combines a proprietary sample preparation method, sequencing equipment from the likes of Illumina and Oxford Nanopore, a curated pathogen database and an automated analysis process. PathoQuest touts its solution’s ability to identify viruses known or unknown in a single, comprehensive analysis.

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“Our partnership with PathoQuest is integral to our ability to provide the most sensitive testing methods to our clients in order to ensure the safety of biological products produced by the biopharmaceutical industry,” said Greg Beattie, Charles River’s VP of global biologics testing solutions, in a release. “PathoQuest’s NGS-based testing solution provides a comprehensive analysis that is both rapid and reliable.”

RELATED: Increased biologics business demand drives Charles River expansions

Besides biologics viral safety testing, Charles River is also using PathoQuest’s NGS for a full suite of cell-line characterization services. The services include characterization of cell lines used in production processes, full genome sequencing, genetic drift studies and so on.

PathoQuest is currently the sole provider of Charles River’s NGS services for viral safety testing, but is only a component of the CRO’s offerings, which also include in vivo assays, cell-based in vitro assays and species-specific viral PCR assays. PathoQuest also offers its tools outside of research settings and for clinical diagnostic purposes.

For the renewed partnership, Charles River plans to make a direct investment in PathoQuest, the exact amount of which was not shared. The news comes as Charles River is expanding its biologics services across multiple sites to meet growing demand.