Our facility in South San Francisco offers sophisticated in vivo efficacy and pharmacokinetics testing to better understand neuroscience disease pathophysiology, and is a center of excellence for microdialysis and EEG testing.

Download our Facility-at-a-Glance datasheet for more information on the facility and capabilities and link the sheet.

  • Video Transcript
    0:07 My name is Arash Rassoulpour, Senior Director, Charles River Discovery. I received my Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Maryland, and following the degree, I went on to become a scientist at Amgen. Following Amgen, I left to join Brains On-Line and have been with Brains On-Line and now Charles River for almost 10 years. Brains On-Line was founded back in 2000, and it really came out of the need for providing microdialysis contract research services. So our co-founders, Thomas [Kremmers] and Ben Westerink, came together and formed Brains On-Line out of a lab at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
    0:48 The name is interesting because at the time each animal was actually connected to its own analytical system, hence the name Brains On-Line, and that name has obviously stuck for years. The expansion to the U.S. happened in 2006 where we wanted to have a presence on the West Coast to be able to provide better support to our clients in the U.S. As such, we started a small endeavor here with just two scientists in a small little lab and today that has led up to a group of 20 people in a much larger space still performing microdialysis but in addition a whole suite of in vivo pharmacology services.
    1:24 This past year we had 65 people in the company prior to our acquisition by Charles River and three sites globally. We had the site in Groningen, which was still growing and in place, and we have the site in San Francisco and another site in Germany. We started out obviously performing the microdialysis, which was a core of the company, but we wanted to become more comprehensive and be able to provide a full suite of services to our clients. And as such, we added additional capabilities over the years to include generalized pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic work. We built in EEG capabilities here to be able to perform telemeterized work in addition to other capabilities.
    2:05 We have a large suite of behavioral pharmacology capabilities, and in addition, we have bioanalysis here on-site, so we have multiple mass specs performing bioanalysis of samples that we generate but also for samples that our clients send us for analysis. We predominantly, being called Brains On-Line, started working on CNS, that was our main focus area. But as a result of our expertise in various techniques, we've been expanding. And also, our geographic presence here in South San Francisco has made it very preferential for our clients locally to come to us with requests that are outside of the CNS realm, so we have expanded into other areas.
    2:47 Our largest growth area outside of CNS has been oncology in recent years. We've been performing a lot of oncology work in addition to our microdialysis work in the brain; we've been doing a lot of microdialysis in tumors as well. And in being able to perform pharmacokinetic work, we've been expanding. Now, as part of the larger Charles River family, we've brought in additional capabilities from our East Coast sites. So oncology is obviously the largest therapeutic area in terms of drug development, and we want to be able to help our clients develop drugs in that area.
    3:19 CNS drug development has really been hampered. Obviously, the attrition rates are high. It's difficult to get a drug into the brain that does what you want it to in the patient population. I think what we can do on our end is prosecute things a little bit in greater detail in preclinical studies, and being able to bridge those preclinical studies in small animals in addition to large animals, I think, will help the process. So by being able to provide end-to-end services and being able to address a lot of the questions in the preclinical space that we're trying to do, we hope to prevent the high attrition rates of drugs in the clinic and hopefully be able to help our clients advance drugs with lower costs and greater success in the future.