Covance selling off animal testing lab

Covance ($CVD) is looking for buyers for its 113,000-square-foot facility in Vienna, VA, the former site of a controversial animal testing lab, The Washington Post reports.

The company shuttered the lab back in 2010 in response to weak demand. The facility housed rhesus monkeys and dogs, on which Covance tested drugs, cosmetics and other chemicals. Covance had planned to build a $175 million lab facility nearby, but those plans were shelved at the same time.

Instead, the company is looking to cash out and focus its resources elsewhere. "We have transitioned work and service lines to our other sites to leverage existing capacity and infrastructure, and plans are to sell the property," Covance spokeswoman Melissa Thompson told the Post.

While it was open, the DC-area plant attracted attention from PETA and other groups, which conducted roadside protests of the use of animals in drug tests.

But it wasn't protests or changes in attitude that motivated the closure and now sale of the facility; the toxicology market grew weak, and Covance is looking to focus its efforts on other labs, Thompson said. For instance, the company is dropping $150 million to expand its Indiana laboratory, planning to add 465 jobs over 5 years.

- read the Post's report

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