Charles River and PathoQuest strengthen partnership

Fraser has acted as exclusive financial advisor to PathoQuest SAS, a genomic expert company dedicated to quality control testing of biologics, on further expanding its strategic partnership with Charles River Laboratories (NYSE: CRL).

Wilmington, MA and Paris, France – November 12, 2020. PathoQuest SAS, a genomic expert company dedicated to quality control testing of biologics, and its strategic partner Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL), announced today that it has established a U.S. subsidiary, PathoQuest, Inc., and will construct a state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based testing laboratory at Charles River’s site in Wayne, PA. The establishment of this lab will enhance the strategic partnership between the two companies and will also expand Charles River’s and PathoQuest’s capabilities to meet client needs by providing a fully integrated and reliable solution for rapid viral safety testing of biologics, notably advanced therapeutic medicinal products (ATMPs) and vaccines.

The expanded relationship between PathoQuest and Charles River will offer North American biotechnology companies an NGS testing facility in the U.S. that identifies adventitious agents using PathoQuest’s rapid, in vitro, comprehensive testing approach which accelerates development timelines of biologics without compromising safety and efficacy. This NGS approach can also be utilized for the genetic characterization of cell lines. The partnership between Charles River and PathoQuest provides clients with the most sensitive and rapid testing methodologies to help ensure the safety of products produced by the biopharmaceutical industry.

Construction of PathoQuest’s new office and laboratory facility is scheduled to begin in late 2020 with NGS services expected to be available in 2021. Once complete, the lab will be aligned with PathoQuest’s existing lab in Paris and offer testing that adheres to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines. This solution will offer the biopharmaceutical industry a comprehensive offering of testing services performed within the same facility, enabling rapid and reliable support for biologics development and quality control testing. Charles River’s Wayne facility supports the development of biological products, including cell line characterization, viral safety, and viral clearance studies.

Charles River has made an additional direct investment in PathoQuest to help fund the establishment of this new facility and to support the expansion of PathoQuest’s testing platform into North America. “The addition of a PathoQuest facility at the Wayne site highlights our commitment to addressing our clients’ dynamic needs. PathoQuest’s NGS-based testing solution provides a rapid, reliable and comprehensive testing solution, and now, clients will have it at their fingertips through this expanded partnership.” – Birgit Girshick, Corporate Executive Vice President, Discovery and Safety Assessment, Biologics Testing Solutions, and Avian Vaccine Services, Charles River” “Our NGS-based approach provides a state-of-the-art quality control testing solution for biopharmaceutical quality assurance and production managers. Our new facility in Wayne will create additional opportunities to integrate with Charles River’s service offerings and expose more pharmaceutical and biotechnology groups to our technology, furthering the rapid expansion of our business.” – Jean-Francois Brepson, President and CEO, PathoQuest.”

PathoQuest as a pharmaceutical establishment offers biopharmaceutical companies a game-changing Genomic QC testing to secure the biosafety of biological drugs like cell & gene therapy products, vaccines, and recombinant. It enables the ability to reduce the turnaround time for safety testing, replacing traditional methods like animal testing. PathoQuest’s technology combines a Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) platform with a proprietary sample preparation process completed by proprietary pathogen genome sequence databases and automated analysis pipeline.

Based on its technological platform, PathoQuest has also developed a metagenomic test direct from blood (iDTECT®) to improve the diagnosis of Bloodstream infections and fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). For more information about PathoQuest, visit www.pathoquest.com.

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