Who We Are

In 1947, a young veterinarian purchased thousands of rat cages from a Virginia farm and set up a one-man laboratory in Boston, overlooking the Charles River. In an effort to fulfill the regional need for laboratory animal models, he bred, fed and cared for the animals and personally delivered them to local researchers. Today, Charles River looks like a very different company, but in realizing Dr. Henry Foster’s vision, we remain committed to collaboration, responsibility and leadership within the global research community.

In the last six decades, we have seen technologies advance and new diseases emerge. Our one-man laboratory has evolved into a worldwide support network, allowing us to act as a steadfast partner to our sponsors, from discovery to lot release testing. By carefully cultivating our portfolio, our growth has become a continuous strategic effort in anticipating tomorrow’s drug development needs. We can’t predict what the future holds, but at Charles River we continue to kindle the spark that inspired our founding: an urgency to advance human health by supporting our clients’ research every step of the way.

  • Founded: 1947
  • Headquarters: Wilmington, MA
  • Employees: ~10,000 worldwide
  • Revenue: $1.36 billion in FY2015
  • Ownership: Publicly traded (CRL)
  • Global Presence: 70 facilities in 16 countries
  • Customers: Leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, government and academic organizations around the world
  • Service Areas: Basic research, discovery, safety and efficacy, clinical support and process manufacturing

The drug research and development process is highly complex, lengthy and expensive, yet essential for delivering safe and effective therapies to patients. Even though the process is reasonably well-defined, drug development programs are fundamentally different for each product, as the exact testing and submission requirements are shaped by many unique factors. To help our customers navigate this process, Charles River offers a wide range of products and services that span the entire drug discovery and development continuum and can be tailored to specific research conditions.

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