Charles River plays an integral role in the preclinical discovery and development of new therapies and treatments for central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) diseases by providing non-GLP in vivo and in vitro studies for efficacy and mechanism of action of compounds and devices. Focusing on neurology and psychiatry, our Finland site’s in vivo pharmacology capabilities include small animal imaging (MRI/MRS, PET-CT, SPECT-CT), behavioral testing, efficacy testing, histology and immunohistochemical analysis including stereology. The site is outfitted to handle high-volume, comprehensive preclinical studies in small animals.

Download our Finland At-a-Glance datasheet for more information on the facility and capabilities.

  • Video Transcript
    0:09 For more than 60 years, Charles River has helped our global partners accelerate drug development with a portfolio ranging from discovery research and safety assessment to process manufacturing services. For nearly 15 years, we have supported biotech and pharmaceutical clients with drug discovery services from our facility in Kuopio, Finland, focusing on neurology and psychiatry. The Finland site capabilities include translational biomarkers, phenotyping, and efficacy testing, and the site is outfitted to handle a high volume of preclinical studies. The facility is comprised of two buildings and is secured by 24-hour surveillance and environmental monitoring. Our 40,000-square-foot in vivo laboratory space includes a surgical suite, an imaging core unit, a general lab for biomarkers and immunohistochemistry, and behavioral testing facilities. 85 full-time employees comprise the Kuopio scientific staff, including preclinical CNS specialists, neurosurgeons, molecular biologists, neuropharmacologists, and imaging specialists. Client test articles are received into a specialized formulation department. Sustained quality testing can be performed on formulation batches of varying dosing types ranging from all routine administration routes to direct central nervous system infusion via bolus or osmotic minipump.
    1:43 We perform customizable in vivo models supporting the study of major psychiatric, neurologic, and neurodegenerative disease. Continuous internal R&D identifies and establishes reproducible and valid models and assays to ensure relevant test models to meet client needs. We also offer a range of surgical models for effective proof-of-concept studies for neuroprotection as well as longer-term, more comprehensive studies investigating functional and cognitive outcomes. All in vivo surgical modeling is performed on-site by our own surgery teams. Whether the models are surgically or chemically induced or genetically engineered, relevant sensory, motor, behavior, cognition, anxiety, or depression testing, as well as behavioral phenotyping can be performed. Imaging is becoming more important as a translational tool in both clinical studies and in vivo proof-of-concept studies. Our state-of-the-art imaging lab features two small animal MRI units and supports high-throughput noninvasive imaging for even the most complex modalities.
    2:58 Pet CT and SPECT CT scanners can be used for biodistribution and ligand binding studies. Radiolabeling can also be performed in-house. In the biomarker lab, our scientists routinely perform immunohistochemistry with tissue sectioning, staining, and image analysis. At the end of a study, biochemical endpoints can be applied on samples collected during or after the study. Transgene, surgical manipulation, and compound effects can be studied on three levels- transcription, translation, and activity. In addition to our fit-for-purpose laboratory service, the Kuopio facility offers dedicated client meeting rooms, which serve as a secure setting to conduct study data reviews, client visits, audits, and other sponsor-related work. Charles River is committed to the humane care of the research animals produced and used in all our activities. Operations in the Kuopio facility are fully supported by the attending veterinarian and by the Corporate Animal Welfare Network. To discuss your study requirements, please contact us at