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Charles River Laboratories Launches Alternative Methods Advancement Project to Reduce Reliance on Animal Testing

Initiative focuses on innovation, partnerships, and advocacy as part of $500 million investment in driving change

WILMINGTON, Mass., April 16, 2024--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL) announced today that it is launching its Alternative Methods Advancement Project (AMAP), an initiative dedicated to developing alternatives to reduce animal testing. The initiative aims to drive the new standard for drug discovery and development and encapsulates the Company’s initial $200 million investment over the past four years and its five-year goal of investing an additional $300 million. This investment spans a portfolio of technology innovations, partnerships, and advocacy efforts to reduce the use of animal testing.

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Strategy to Drive Transformation

Understanding that stakeholders across drug development must collaborate to pursue these advances, AMAP is comprised of Charles River experts in animal welfare, science, technology, operations, and advocacy. Currently an internal initiative, AMAP plans to include partner organizations and funding to encourage collective efforts to innovate and bring best-in-class solutions to the forefront, industry-wide.

Building on the imperative to deliver on the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement), Charles River has spearheaded the addition of the fourth R of Responsibility to capture its role in driving progress. AMAP delivers on this commitment to the 4Rs with a dedicated pursuit of scientific and technological innovation and by aligning the Company’s strategic efforts with the focus needed to advance animal alternatives. Grounded in the need to prove the scientific rigor, AMAP initiatives include research projects confirming the safety and efficacy of alternatives – ensuring patient safety remains the utmost priority.

AMAP focus is on three key pillars:

  • Products & Services: Charles River is committed to innovating and expanding its portfolio to include more animal alternatives. By following the science and introducing new alternative modalities only when they are proven, Charles River intends to set the standard for ensuring patients receive needed treatments safely, swiftly, and successfully. The recent launch of Endosafe® Trillium™, the Company’s first rapid animal-free bacterial endotoxin test, delivers on this imperative by meeting the highest scientific standards and offering a path to reducing reliance on horseshoe crab blood.

  • Strategic Investments & Partnerships: Understanding that advancement requires collaboration, AMAP involves the continuation of Charles River’s strategy to partner with companies to co-develop solutions and continuing to identify externally-developed technologies to enhance client offerings.

    • Previous collaborative efforts include the launch of Logica® – the AI-solution for candidate nomination – with Valo, study validation of next-generation sequencing in viral safety assays with PathoQuest, and ongoing advancements in digital pathology with Deciphex. Additional efforts to expand AI adoption, validate substitutes for animal testing in support of clinical studies, and develop virtual training tools are underway.

  • Advocacy: True transformation requires regulatory bodies and government agencies to compel industry-wide change. By pursuing partnerships and relationships with thought leaders, policy makers, and important non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Charles River plans to work with these public entities to build the infrastructure needed to support the pursuit of alternatives and inspire confidence in their acceptance as a new standard.

Through the adoption of digital technologies and AI, following advancements in science, and establishing relationships with industry changemakers, Charles River is dedicated to introducing innovative methodologies that reduce reliance on animal testing while bringing new therapies to patients faster without compromising safety.

Approved Quotes

  • "Advances in science and technology have brought our industry to an inflection point. Alternatives are the path to the next frontier of drug development, allowing us to responsibly drive progress for the patients and animals that depend on our work. With our long history in embracing innovation in biopharmaceutical research, Charles River is well-positioned in setting this new standard for drug development." – James C. Foster, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles River

  • "The adoption of alternatives is a strategic imperative for the industry that requires scientific rigor to prove its possibility and expansive collaboration to drive change. AMAP is Charles River’s rallying cry that we must unite in the effort to not only build these innovations but also inspire confidence and transform the systems to ensure they can be effectively implemented." – Birgit Girshick, Corporate Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Charles River

About Charles River

Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them. To learn more about our unique portfolio and breadth of services, visit www.criver.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240416134140/en/

Contacts

Investor Contact:
Todd Spencer
Corporate Vice President,
Investor Relations
781.222.6455
todd.spencer@crl.com

Media Contact:
Amy Cianciaruso
Corporate Vice President,
Chief Communications Officer
781.222.6168
amy.cianciaruso@crl.com