Charles River teams with Crown Bioscience on ZDSD rodent model

Under the deal, Charles River gets an exclusive license to breed and distribute the ZDSD model. (Getty/RossHelen)

CRO Charles River Labs has inked a licensing deal with drug discovery and development services provider Crown Bioscience for expanded access to the Zucker Diabetic Sprague-Dawley (ZDSD) rat model.

Under the deal, Charles River gets an exclusive license to breed and distribute the ZDSD model. In return, Crown Bio is guaranteed a premium quality and prioritized supply of ZDSD models to support its service platforms. Commercial distribution of the model by Charles River is expected to begin by this summer, the companies said.

As is now common practice, financial terms of the partnership weren’t shared.


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The ZDSD rat is a highly translatable rodent model of metabolic syndrome, obesity, dyslipidemia and diabetes with complications such as cardiac dysfunction, proteinuria and impaired wound healing. The model, which more closely mimics human disease development, has a polygenic background and intact leptin pathway.

“Metabolic diseases, particularly diabetes, are increasingly common and have significant impact globally,” Colin Dunn, an SVP for Charles River, said in a statement. “Providing access to a translatable model to study this important set of diseases will help progress research forward, toward the ultimate goal of delivering safe, effective therapeutics to patients.”

Last month, as part of its strategy to consolidate its position as a dominant player in the field of early-stage CROs, Charles River shelled out $510 million in cash to acquire preclinical services specialist Citoxlab.

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