BUSINESS BRIEF: Wilmington’s Charles River Labs & CHDI Foundation Extend Huntington’s Disease Collaboration

WILMINGTON, MA — Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. and CHDI Foundation recently announced a five-year extension of their ongoing collaboration.

The organizations began working together in 2005 on drug discovery and development for Huntington’s disease (HD), a genetic neurological disease that causes the progressive dysfunction of nerve cells in the brain.

The extension will allow more flexible activity across the different Charles River platforms and entail greater integration into CHDI’s programs.

The contract extension covers multidisciplinary services from across Charles River’s portfolio, including:

  • Integrated biology and chemistry capabilities
  • Complex primary neuronal assay development
  • High-content and fragment-based screening
  • Computational chemistry
  • Absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) and pharmacokinetics (PK)
  • Protein crystallography
  • Extensive in vivo pharmacology approaches in research models for translational assessment

Over their 14-year collaboration, Charles River has established and validated tools and methodologies within expert teams to support CHDI’s mission of developing novel therapeutics that will substantially improve the lives of those affected by HD.

Together, Charles River and CHDI have identified novel potential drug targets, bred and validated translational research animal models, run large screens and generated proof-of-concept molecules, and evaluated the potential efficacy of both small molecule and biologic candidates in preclinical models of HD. These cutting-edge approaches have resulted in over one hundred co-authored posters and dozens of peer-reviewed papers. Additionally, the expertise developed throughout this partnership has helped more broadly facilitate increased HD research within the larger drug discovery and development community.

“Our longstanding partnership with CHDI is built on our mutual commitment to developing novel therapies for Huntington’s disease,” said Birgit Girshick, Corporate Executive Vice President, Discovery & Safety Assessment, Biologics Testing Solutions, and Avian Vaccine Services at Charles River. “As an organization, our work with CHDI has led to a much larger commitment to support the HD research community, through investments in methodologies, tools and personnel dedicated to this rare disease.” –

“Charles River’s early drug discovery team has continuously delivered scientific expertise that enables our drug discovery research to produce more efficient results. We are excited to continue our research and work toward delivering a meaningful treatment to patients,” said Robi Blumenstein, President, CHDI Management, Inc.

About CHDI Foundation, Inc.

CHDI Foundation, Inc. is a privately-funded nonprofit biomedical research organization that is exclusively dedicated to collaboratively developing therapeutics that substantially improve the lives of those affected by Huntington’s disease. As a collaborative enabler CHDI seeks to bring the right partners together to identify and address critical scientific issues and move drug candidates to clinical evaluation as quickly as possible. Our scientists work closely with a network of more than 700 researchers in academic and industrial laboratories around the world in the pursuit of these novel therapies, providing strategic scientific direction to ensure that our common goals remain in focus. More information about CHDI can be found at

About Charles River

Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them. To learn more about our unique portfolio and breadth of services, visit

(NOTE: The above press release is from Charles River via BusinessWire.)

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