Charles River Laboratories

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Charles River Laboratories, Inc.
Traded as NYSECRL
Industry Pharmaceutical/medical devices
Founded 1947
Headquarters Wilmington, Massachusetts
Key people
James C. Foster, CEO
Revenue $ 1.13 billion (FY2012)
Number of employees
Website Charles River

Charles River Laboratories, Inc. is an American corporation specializing in a variety of pre-clinical and clinical laboratory services for the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology industries.[3] It also supplies assorted biomedical products and research and development outsourcing services for use in the pharmaceutical industry. According to its website, its customers include every major pharmaceutical and biotechnology company in the world, major academic institutions and government research centers.[4]

The company was founded in 1947. The chief executive officer is James C. Foster.

With more than 7,500 employees, the company has facilities in Canada, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom.


The company has been the target of animal rights activists in the UK and US. It owned Shamrock Farm in England's West Sussex which closed in 2000 following a 15-month campaign by animal rights activists.[5][6]

In 2007, two monkeys at the company’s Sparks, Nevada facility had their fingers amputated after they were caught in the wiring of their cages while being moved, and a third monkey suffered a cut to its tail.[7]

In 2008, 32 cynomolgus primates, also known as crab-eating macaques, died of overheating at the company's Sparks, Nevada laboratory after a climate system failure. PETA filed a complaint with the USDA over the incident. The following year, a monkey died at the same facility after being left in their cage as it was going through a hot cage washer. Charles River was fined $14,500 for the two incidents. The company subsequently closed their Sparks facility.[7] [8]

PETA owns $2,000 worth of shares in the company, enough to introduce formal resolutions regarding animal care during the company’s annual shareholder meeting.[9]


In October 2003, Charles River Laboratories merged with Inveresk, a UK-owned research company. The company was known then as Charles River Laboratories. Inveresk specialised in clinical research and pre-clinical testing, and their main facilities are in Edinburgh, Scotland. In late 2009, Charles River sold its Clinical Services Division in Edinburgh to Quotient Bioresearch company.

In 2010 Charles River Laboratories attempted to acquire WuXi PharmaTech, a China-based contract research organization, but the offer was withdrawn when the deal faced opposition from several large Charles River investors, including Relational Investors, JANA Partners and Neuberger Berman.

Proxy advisory firm RiskMetrics had also recommended that Charles River's shareholders vote against the proposed deal.

In July 2015 the company announced it would acquire Celsis International for $212 million.[10]

In January 2016 the company announced it was set to acquire WIL Research for approximately $585 million in cash.[11]

In June 2016 the company announced it would acquire Blue Stream Laboratories.[12]


  1. ^ "Safety Assessment". 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Christensen, Carl Roland. Business Policy: Text and Cases. R.D. Irwin, 1982, p. 54.
  4. ^ "Charles River At A Glance", Charles River Laboratories.
  5. ^ Barnett, Anthony; Ridley, Yvonne (8 May 1999). "Monkey farm 'death trail' exposed". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Protest site monkey farm to close.". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 11 March 2000. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Ghastly Slaughter of Research Monkeys Prompts Calls for Oversight". Fox News. Associated Press. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  8. ^ Sonner, Scott (14 December 2012). "Animal deaths spark call for fining of Nevada, other testing labs". Las Vegas Review Journal. Associated Press. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Cooper, Warren (26 December 2012). "PETA takes on Merck, Pfizer animal testing policies". NJN Publishing. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "Charles River Buys Celsis for $212M". GEN. 
  11. ^ "Charles River Labs to Acquire WIL Research for $585M". GEN. 
  12. ^ "Charles River Laboratories Acquires Blue Stream Laboratories". Retrieved 2016-06-28.