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
Slogan Every Step of the Way.[2]
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 initiated during 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. It owned Shamrock Farm in England's West Sussex which closed during 2000 following a 15-month campaign by animal rights activists. It also has a large site at Manston Road, Margate, Kent, where it breeds mice and rats, and a similar but smaller facility in the USA, in New York state's Ulster County.

On 29 June 2008 in Saint Germain sur l'Arbresle (France, Rhone district) an alleged case of arson may have occurred, although the perpetrators have not been identified nor has any group claimed credit.[citation needed]

During May 2008, 32 Cynomolgus primates, also known as crab-eating Macaques, died of overheating at the Charles Rivers Laboratory in Sparks, Nevada after a climate system failure. Based on a "whistleblower" complaint, animal rights group PETA filed a complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture who are investigating the incident.

During August 2008, the Associated Press reported, "A former scientist at an animal testing facility in Nevada where 32 research monkeys were accidentally killed in May claims in a federal lawsuit he was fired partly because he opposed 'cruel and inhumane mistreatment' of animals there."[5]


During 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. During late 2009 Charles River sold its Clinical Services Division in Edinburgh to Quotient Bioresearch company.

During 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.[6]

See also[edit]