Metabolic Disease

When the body’s chemical reactions go awry, a host of metabolic diseases and endocrine disorders can present themselves under a variety of symptoms. These diseases are often caused by genetic conditions; however, their treatments often provide drastic and lasting improvements to life quality.


Endocrine disorders and metabolic diseases are often quite complex and typically involve the regulation of various body functions. Charles River’s expertise in this therapeutic area includes the progression and analysis of compounds and agents targeting a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, obesity, bone disease, thyroid disease, metabolic disorders, cholesterol, and lipid disorders, among several others.

Worldwide incidence of cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases continues to rise due to growing rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. Therefore, having access to specific animal models for studying these diseases can help drive research efforts towards a cure.

Charles River maintains a comprehensive portfolio of animal models specific for studying metabolic, renal, and cardiovascular disease. Further, through our preconditioning services, we can offer an array of metabolic surgical procedures and custom diets so that you receive your animal study ready.

Basic Research Products & Services

While considerable progress has been made in recent years, metabolic disease continues to be a leading cause of death globally, and the number of people exhibiting risk factors for developing metabolic disease has been increasing. For these reasons, metabolic disease drug discovery remains a critical area of focus within the scientific community. Whether targeting metabolic diseases like diabetes, or any of the disorders that increase metabolic disease risk (collectively known as metabolic syndrome), Charles River helps accelerate your discoveries through innovative target identification and validation, complex in vitro and in vivo pharmacology models, and a strong chemistry and disease biology foundation, all of which assist in translating basic research to clinical reality.


Our teams combine sophisticated genetic manipulation techniques with complex cell-based assays, including those developed in stem cells, primary human or rodent cells, and patient-derived cells, to identify and validate novel targets, or provide disease-relevant in vitro models for early efficacy, target engagement, and toxicology assessment.


Effective small molecule drug discovery requires a strong partnership between the biologists and chemists working on the program. A thorough understanding of the biology of the target is critical to generating and optimizing compounds with the most favorable characteristics for efficacy and safety, while a thorough understanding of chemistry is required to insure novel, selective, and high-quality development candidates. Working together, chemists and biologists at Charles River have produced over 75 development candidates since 2001 and been named as inventors on over 320 patents for our partners over the same period of time.


It is critical to select the appropriate in vivo pharmacology models for the assessment of candidates designed to treat obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis, vascular inflammation, and other cardiovascular diseases. Our scientists will work with you to select not only the appropriate animal models, but also recommend the most appropriate translational biomarkers to demonstrate in vivo target engagement and therapeutic efficacy of your articles.

Metabolic Resources

The path from drug discovery and development to clinical registration can be a complicated, arduous endeavor. Conceptually, it proceeds in a linear fashion. On a practical level, it involves iterative cycles of progress and issue resolution. Key to maintaining efficiency and speed throughout the project is the ability to integrate disease-area expertise as part and parcel of safety assessment. Understanding the safety of candidate compounds is not a stand-alone undertaking. At Charles River, our Metabolic Disease therapeutic area experts collaborate with safety assessment to produce a comprehensive therapeutic valuation of clinical candidates. We incorporate efficacy, biomarker, and pharmacodynamic indices to provide context to safety studies, often on the background of disease models. Transferring the institutional knowledge associated with your discovery program through the entire safety assessment process minimizes risk, increases efficiencies, and maximizes your chances of success. This is the understated value of working with Charles River.

Safety Assessment Services

We offer full-service support across the entire drug discovery and development continuum, including many products and services not specific to therapeutic area or indication.

Serving the needs of both small and large molecule developers, we offer a broad range of standard and specialized laboratory services to complement and enhance drug development programs, from discovery through safety and clinical trials. From complete IND-enabling programs to stand-alone assessments, our Safety Assessment team provides a full range of in vivo and in vitro testing services that comply with worldwide regulatory restrictions for the preclinical development of pharmaceuticals.

We provide a comprehensive range of testing programs and equipment to support pharmaceutical development. Our biologics testing solutions and portfolio of microbial quality control systems and services help clients ensure the safety, quality and compliance of their products. We support large molecule manufacturing from early preclinical formulation development through clinical and commercial manufacturing and release.

Exceptional support of the entire drug discovery and development process is a Charles River hallmark. As a customer-focused organization committed to advancing science and helping clients reach their goals, we continually strive to develop solutions that extend our support of their efforts. Because our industry-seasoned professionals have followed the same journey as our clients, we can provide insight into the bigger picture, advice on best practices, skilled staff to extend resources and targeted training to meet the unique challenges they face along the way.