Charles River Avian Vaccine Services (formerly SPAFAS) Celebrates 50 Years in the SPF Chicken Business
May 12, 2011 - In 1961, SPAFAS - a small, specific-pathogen-free (SPF) egg production and testing laboratory - was founded by Ray Davis, a Connecticut hatcheryman, and Dr. Roy Luginbuhl, Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut. From a small number of flocks, SPAFAS grew its range of products and services to include egg production in Roanoke, IL, and testing services in Connecticut. The business continued to grow with joint ventures around the globe, expanding into avian diagnostic reagents and more testing services. In 1976, SPAFAS was acquired by Merck Pharmaceuticals. And, in 1992, Charles River acquired the company.
At the start, Charles River’s primary focus was on the production of SPF chicken embryos. We have since grown to provide a vast supply of supporting products and services to vaccine manufacturers and researchers around the world. From those first flocks in CT, Charles River Avian Vaccine Services has built multiple bird and laboratory facilities, which include 11 farms and 37 production facilities in North America and Hungary. Today, we support vaccine production with SPF chicken embryos, full-service avian testing, diagnostic reagents, SPF chickens and USDA-licensed For Further Manufacture products for vaccine production. Our newest laboratory facility, located in Willimantic, CT, produces fresh chicken embryo cell products for bulk vaccine manufacturing.
After 50 years, Charles River Avian Vaccine Services looks towards the future, intending to celebrate many more years of continued “egg-cellence.”
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