Contract research organisation Charles River Laboratories (CRL) has announced a marketing and distribution agreement with Pfizer under which CRL will supply certain of the pharmaceutical company’s genetically modified research models to the biomedical research community worldwide.

Research Models and Services (RMS) is the largest portion of Charles River’s own business, accounting for US$667.0 million or 58.8% of overall net sales in 2010.

Under the agreement with Pfizer, CRL will supply a number of pre-competitive transgenic research models developed by the US-based company across a broad range of therapeutic areas, including neuroscience, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. No financial terms were disclosed.

Charles River said access to Pfizer’s “world-class” transgenic models would further expand CRL’s own growing portfolio of genetically modified research models. Use of these models “continues to emerge as an important tool to allow scientists in their research to target specific disease states and genetic markers”, noted Dr Iva Morse, CRL’s corporate vice president, Global Research Model Services.

According to Rick Connell, vice president and worldwide head of Pfizer’s External Research Solutions Center of Excellence, the agreement chimes with the company’s strategy of making its pre-competitive tools and assets available to “a broader community of scientists” outside its own walls.

“We collectively share an interest in seeing science advance to enable the continued development of innovative medicines for patients,” Connell commented.

“Charles River is a leader in providing products and services to the biomedical research community, so we expect that our genetically modified models will be delivered to their clients with the highest standards of quality and care for which they are globally recognised.”