Charles River Laboratories makes $295m acquisition

Published: 12-Apr-2022

The acquisition of Explora BioLabs has been made to complement and expand the Charles River Accelerator and Development Lab (CRADL) operation

Charles River Laboratories International has acquired Explora BioLabs Holdings a provider of contract vivarium research services.

Based in San Diego, California, Explora BioLabs offers contract vivarium operation services, providing biopharmaceutical clients with turnkey in vivo vivarium facilities, management, and related services to efficiently conduct their early-stage research activities. Explora BioLabs currently operates more than 15 preclinical vivarium facilities, offering AAALAC-accredited, turnkey rental space in the Southern California, San Francisco, and Boston-Cambridge biohubs, with a planned expansion in Seattle in 2022. With over 100 employees, it also offers contract vivarium management, staffing, and regulatory solutions to manage clients' research sites.

The purchase price was approximately $295 million in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Explora BioLabs had annual revenue of approximately $38 million in 2021, with strong, double-digit revenue growth expected over the next five years.

By outsourcing their vivarium space, our clients can focus on accelerating their scientific research

The acquisition of Explora BioLabs complements and expands the Charles River Accelerator and Development Lab (CRADL) operation, which is part of Charles River's Insourcing Solutions business. CRADL provides AAALAC-accredited, full-service, turnkey vivarium rental space supported by Charles River's technical, vivarium, and veterinary expertise for emerging and well-established biopharmaceutical companies and academic research institutions in key biohubs, including Boston-Cambridge, San Francisco, and China. The company's outsourced vivarium services allow clients to quickly start and focus on their early-stage research in a flexible manner within high-quality, biosecure facilities with reduced research risk through access to Charles River's expertise in veterinary care.

The combined Explora BioLabs and CRADL operation is expected to include at least 25 vivarium facilities by the end of 2022, providing over 300,000 sqft of turnkey rental capacity in key biohubs, including expansions in the US and internationally. In addition, clients utilising CRADL and Explora BioLabs will have the added benefit of accessing other Charles River services, including its integrated discovery and non-clinical development expertise, which will provide opportunities to further enhance the speed and efficiency of their research programs and facilitate the progression towards an Investigational New Drug (IND) filing.

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James Foster, Chairman, President and CEO of Charles River Laboratories, commented: "With its presence in West Coast biohubs, the acquisition of Explora BioLabs complements our existing CRADL footprint and offers incremental opportunities to partner with an emerging, high-growth client base, many of which are engaged in cell and gene therapy development."

"Our clients' drive for flexibility and efficiency is generating robust demand for turnkey research capacity. By outsourcing their vivarium space, our clients can focus on accelerating their scientific research, instead of daily vivarium management or building infrastructure. As biopharmaceutical companies turn to CRADL, they will be able to easily access additional services across our comprehensive discovery and non-clinical development portfolio, further accelerating their research. We believe the addition of Explora BioLabs will enhance the CRADL value proposition for clients, and further solidifies the company's focus on the Research Models and Services segment as a sustained growth engine. We are pleased to welcome the Explora BioLabs team to the Charles River family," Foster concluded

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