Accelerate Preclinical Drug Development

The industry standard timeline from hit identification to preclinical candidate nomination is on average 33-36 months. As a full service preclinical drug development CRO with an integrated approach to development, Charles River can reduce this timeline to as little as 24 months. Through industry experienced, multidisciplinary teams focused on resource efficiency, scientific excellence, and strategic partnerships we shorten time to market.

What’s the difference between an integrated drug discovery project and a traditional outsourcing project? Watch this video to learn how the right preclinical drug development CRO can make the difference.

Our preclinical drug development scientists are skilled consultants with expertise across almost all therapeutic areas. They understand your requirements and can deliver preclinical development candidates that meet your target product profile.

When you choose Charles River as your preclinical drug development CRO, your program benefits from a knowledge-based approach to advancing compounds from hit identification through lead optimization and into development. Combining advanced technologies with decades of experience, our team consistently converts leads into candidates. In fact, we’ve delivered 82 candidates to partners so far, and the list continues to grow.


Track Record of Candidates

Charles River chemistry, biology, large molecule and small molecule screening scientists deliver patents and compound candidates in many therapeutic areas including oncology, neurology, immune-oncology, pain, inflammation and respiratory to our drug discovery cro clients.

Check out our preclinical candidate delivery and patent track record by therapeutic area. Will our next discovery be yours?


Who’s on Your Team?

In addition to the multidisciplinary group of scientists assigned to your project, you’ll find more people who are dedicated to helping you reach your goals. At the helm of your integrated drug discovery programs are experienced project leads who bring personalized attention and efficient management of contributing teams from across our organization.  Our seasoned scientific advisory services (SAS) team adds value with insight and guidance for a smooth path to clinic.

Meet the SAS Team

A Seamless Transition to IND

Understanding how and when to plan a preclinical investigational new drug (IND)-enabling program is an integral part of meeting specific milestones necessary for timely and efficient IND submission. As a preclinical drug development CRO, Charles River has several decades of preclinical research services experience, a unique range of services and best-in-class expertise to help clients complete an IND-enabling program on time and within budget.


Integrated Drug Discovery Seminar Series

Attend the seminar to learn how Charles River’s integrated drug discovery platform reduces timeline through industry experienced, multi-disciplinary teams focused on resource efficiency, scientific excellence and strategic partnerships with clients through all aspects of drug discovery

Charles River chemistry and biology leaders host customized, virtual seminars throughout the year to share data and present case studies on how to optimize the drug discovery workflow. Request a date


When you’re ready to move from integrated drug discovery into development, Charles River offers preclinical CRO services for small molecules, large molecule biologics, and advanced therapy medicinal products with the design of suitable studies or programs for submission to all global regulatory authorities. Learn more in our Investigational New Drug Development Programs eGuide.


Integrated Drug Discovery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is the difference between an integrated drug discovery model and typical outsourcing models?

    Typical outsourcing models include multiple sources and preclinical drug development contract research organizations (CROs). In some cases, an external consultant is hired to manage the inputs, outputs, project timeline, and project costs. Charles River is a preclinical CRO and uses an integrated drug discovery approach, meaning there is one project team working through all phases in the preclinical workflow. This team acts as an in-house drug discovery consultant.

  • What are the advantages of using an integrated drug discovery approach with one preclinical CRO?

    When using a single preclinical CRO from early discovery all the way through to IND, clients have one project team working to get the compound candidate to early safety and to the IND package. The team regularly assesses what progress has been made and what issues have arisen, and develops a plan for solving those problems. Additionally, the project team can look ahead to anticipate the project needs. This is particularly advantageous going from in vitro studies to in vivo studies and also with the transition from the discovery to the safety phase.

  • Is an integrated drug discovery approach appropriate for mid-sized biotech organizations?

    Mid-sized biotech companies face a unique set of preclinical drug development challenges. They are often trying to advance several programs in parallel, while keeping teams small and agile to maintain a competitive and innovative edge. They are faced with resource constraints and likely encounter a problem that cannot be addressed with in-house capabilities. Charles River preclinical research services can keep pace with small and agile biotech teams and also perform at the level of scientific excellence that is demanded.

  • Is an integrated drug discovery approach appropriate for a small biotech?

    Virtual biotechs and small startups are often challenged by a lack of resources and lack of credible partners to trust with their intellectual property (IP). Charles River integrated drug discovery resolves both scenarios. The preclinical drug development CRO services teams offer a streamlined process and a diverse group of experts to help a skeleton crew reach the clinic, and ultimately get therapy to patients faster.