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Charles River (CRL) to Offer Cryo-EM Capabilities With New Pact

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Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. CRL recently announced the formation of a strategic partnership with ATEM Structural Discovery to provide clients access to ATEM’s cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) service solutions.

By expanding technology services through the strategic partnership, Charles River can assess and meet clients’ needs while offering advanced solutions to accelerate their drug discovery and development.

The recent partnership will fortify Charles River’s Discovery and Safety Assessment (DSA) segment.

Few Words on ATEM Structural Discovery

ATEM Structural Discovery is committed to providing the best quality cryo-EM-centered solutions, at scale, to its clients in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries. ATEM’s leading platform incorporates highly optimized biochemistry, hardware, and software to offer in-depth structural insights about challenging targets at a commercial scale.

ATEM’s technology directly images vitrified biological macromolecules in single-particle experiments at high resolution. This leads to the identification of novel distinct binding sites and considerably improves the discovery of drug candidates.

More on Cryo-EM

Cryo-EM is a technique that concludes the 3D structures of proteins and is utilized to spot how proteins function, malfunction in disease and the most efficient way to target them with therapies.

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Cryo-EM has become a powerful orthogonal tool to support both quality control and research and development efforts in adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-based gene therapies as well as novel mRNA and plasmid-based drugs.

Significance of the Partnership

By combining Charles River’s end-to-end capabilities with ATEM’s cryo-EM expertise, the partnership has the potential to considerably accelerate drug discovery efforts from hit design to lead optimization. With an early approach into how lead candidates interact with their intended disease target, clients can interpret actual structural changes, enabling more informed prioritization and optimization of lead candidates.

The partnership will enable Charles River’s clients to access ATEM’s platform to support their drug discovery efforts. While utilizing ATEM’s cryo-EM platform, clients will be provided with improved insights into challenging targets by viewing the 3D structure of full biochemical assemblies, ligand-bound complexes and biologic drugs. The partnership facilitates Charles River to improve drug discovery projects by allowing structure-based design for a greater portfolio of targets.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Mordor Intelligence, the drug discovery market size was valued at $53.86 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $85.79 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 8.3%.

Growth in R&D spending, driven by the requirement for multiple preclinical and clinical services during the drug discovery and development process, is one of the primary factors driving the market.

Progress With DSA Segment

During the August 2021 update, Charles River noted that the DSA segment registered 18.1% organic revenue growth in the second quarter of 2021, driven by broad-based demand for both Discovery and Safety Assessment. The Safety Assessment business continued to perform exceptionally well, reflecting robust demand from biotech and global biopharma clients. Bookings and proposal volume reached record highs in the second quarter, with strength across all regions and major service areas. Bookings increased substantially more than the company’s target.

Further, Charles River projects the DSA segment to deliver low double-digit revenue growth for the full year, reflecting continued early stage research activity strength.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have gained 77.2% in a year against the industry’s fall of 47.5%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Charles River carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Alcon Inc ALC, West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. WST and Henry Schein, Inc. HSIC, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Alcon has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 18%.

West Pharmaceutical Services has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 27%.

Henry Schein has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 14%.

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Alcon (ALC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (CRL) : Free Stock Analysis Report

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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