ShangPharma Corporation, a research and development outsourcing company based in China, says it is nearly tripling its research model capacity by acquiring the assets of Charles River Laboratories’ (CRL) in vivo pharmacology facility in Shanghai.

CRL, which has been pursuing cost efficiencies in its underperforming Preclinical Services (PCS) business, noted earlier this year that it had closed its PCS facility in China.  

The US-based company has launched a string of initiatives to restore shareholder value since last year’s abortive attempt to acquire WuXi PharmaTech in China, and the PCS business has been a particular focus of attention.

ShangPharma has acquired the assets of CRL’s Shanghai facility through its main Chinese subsidiary, Shanghai ChemPartner Co. Ltd.

As part of the transaction, ShangPharma will take over Charles River's lease on the facility, giving the Chinese company an additional 2,972 sq m of in-vivo research space as well as 1,290 sq m of laboratory and office capacity. No financial terms were disclosed.

State of the art

Describing the acquired assets as “one of the best designed and constructed state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratories in China”, ShangPharma said the deal was a “major step forward” for its in-vivo pharmacology services, which are expected to be a significant revenue growth driver going forward, alongside biologics, research manufacturing,  and integrated discovery and development services.

“The location of this facility within ShangPharma’s main research campus is a notable strategic advantage, helping us to achieve significant operating efficiencies through consolidation with our current facilities,” added Kevin Chen, ShangPharma’s president and chief operating officer.  

CRL opened its preclinical research facility in Shanghai in 2008, building on a joint venture formed the previous year with Shanghai BioExplorer Co., Ltd., a preclinical services provider based in the Chinese city.

In April 2010, the facility became the first preclinical laboratory in China to receive a Certificate of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliance from an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member country, following an inspection by the Belgian national GLP compliance monitoring authority.