Charles River expands diagnostics biz with new facility

Charles River Laboratories ($CRL) unveiled a new 60,000-square-foot R&D facility focused on diagnostics, expanding the CRO's capabilities in the growing field.

The Wilmington, MA, plant is the former site of the company's animal diagnostics business, but Charles River revamped the facility, equipping it with the bioanalytical capabilities needed for assay development, the company said. The facility offers diagnostic capabilities for clinical chemistry, hematology, biomarker assay development and immunoassay services.

Charles River said the expanded capacity will help the diagnostics unit and its 100 employees provide clients in biopharma and academia with high-quality R&D services. "The new facility provides us with an opportunity to grow the core diagnostic business as well as make way for new services which are in industry demand," Charles River spokeswoman Amy Cianciaruso told Mass High Tech.

The CRO has continued to diversify its offerings in the face of a slow market for traditional contract research. Last quarter, Charles River reported a 2.6% decline in research and services sales, but the company has wasted no time bolstering its other units, acquiring contract microbial testing firm Accugenix for $17 million and boosting its preclinical IT spending to woo clients.

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