From Hit to Lead With In Vitro Assay Development Services

The proper combination of in vitro assays can deliver critical information that serves as better predictors for the transition to in vivo studies. Charles River in vitro testing development services provide in vitro studies for identification, characterization, and validation for both small and large molecules for a variety of diseases to improve translational success in vivo. Employing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 and in primary cell-based assay to study mechanisms of action.

Assay development capabilities include:

  • Human Primary Cell-Based Assays 
    Translational cell-based assay development from simple cell proliferation and viability assays to multicellular biochemical and functional assays for high content phenotypic screening using human primary cells from tissue, blood and differentiated stem cells.
  • Antiviral and Antimicrobial Testing 
    Our combined infection and analytical expertise gives clients access to the most robust portfolio of antiviral and antimicrobial in vitro assays.
  • In Vitro Oncology Assays 
    Monitor cells in the immune system, and those cells which interact with it. This level of expertise is what enables our dedicated analytical and cell biology teams to run assays using primary cells that closely mimic human biology and are suitable for immunology drug screening programs.
  • In Vitro Immuno-Oncology Assays
    With 80 proprietary cell lines derived from our portfolio of PDX models and over 200 commercial human tumor cell lines available, our assay development is designed to test your compound with an extensive screening approach for up to 50 cell lines as well as CRISPR/Cas9 engineered cell lines.

Translational Research Success from In Vitro to In Vivo

Video describing how in vitro studies provide predictive information of how therapies may translate to in vivo models and eventually the clinic

Discover how predictive in vitro assays can improve how well your research translates to the clinic.

Improve Your Predictions


  • In Vitro Immunology Assays 
    Validated models for every cell in the immune system, and those cells which interact with it. This level of expertise is what enables our dedicated analytical and cell biology teams to run assays using primary cells that closely mimic human biology. Our dedicated analytical and cell biology experts can run assays using primary cells that closely mimic human biology.
  • In Vitro Assays for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 
    Using established cultures of human pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons amenable to high-throughput screening.
  • In Vitro Assays for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
    Utrophin Quantification in vitro assay high content imaging of myoblast to myotube differentiation in vitro assay.
  • In Vitro Neuroscience Assays and Models 
    Phenotypic assays using various neuronal cell models for clinically relevant data, by using human ES cells and iPS-derived neurons from patient samples to study mechanisms of action.
  • Ion Channel Screening 
    Discover novel ion channel therapeutics studying ion channel selectivity profiling in vitro assay, trafficking in vitro assays and epithelial short circuit current in vitro assays.
  • Mechanism of Action Studies 
    Assay development using adenoviral technology to elucidate the mechanism of action of small molecules by combining the compound of interest with knockdown or overexpression of candidate gene in the same phenotypic assay.
  • Genome Engineering Techniques 
    Applying genome engineering techniques to many phases of drug development – from target discovery (e.g., monitoring the loss-of or gain-of function screening using CRISPR/CAS9 gRNA libraries [pooled or arrayed]) to target validation (e.g., evaluating the effect of target knock-outs).

The above is just a sampling of our services/capabilities. Not sure what you need to reach your goals? Let our scientist work with you to expedite the process.

Ask Our Experts

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) About In Vitro Assay Development

  • Why custom in vitro Assay Development?

    In vitro assays that monitor your compound to target interaction in a complex cellular that mimics your disease state can provide predictive insights earlier in the drug development process. No one assay can answer all your questions, but the right combination of custom in vitro assays using disease-relevant cells and phenotypic read outs will help you make those go/no-go decisions.

  • Why is important to conduct an in vitro study?

    The best in vitro studies help predict how therapies may work in vivo and eventually the clinic. These cell-based assays can also speed drug development because many compounds can be tested at the same time and in a variety of cell types. In vitro testing can help compounds fail early and fail fast, progressing only viable candidates into translational drug development programs.

  • How do I choose the right in vitro assay?

    Interpreting complex biology involves the use of multiple cell-based technologies, (such as CRISPR/CAS9) from evaluating cell viability via cell proliferation assays to phenotypic screening via high content imaging. It is challenging to pick a single platform, as each compound and disease state is unique. The most predictive disease relevant cell-based in vitro assays mimics the complexity of the biological environment. In vitro assays can be developed for specific mechanism of action such as those involved in ion channel pathways.

  • What is an in vitro cell-based model?

    From Latin meaning in glass, in vitro assays are designed with components of cells that have been isolated to monitor biochemical and functional reactions to determine mechanism of actions and impact of novel therapeutics.