Charles River Laboratories acquires Cognate BioServices for $875M

February 18, 2021

Strengthens the CRO's scientific capabilities in cell and gene therapy space

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., a preclinical contract research organization (CRO), has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cognate BioServices, Inc., a cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), for approximately $875 million in cash. The deal is expected to close by the end of Q1.

Besides cell therapies, Cognate also offers manufacturing solutions for production of plasmid DNA and other inputs in the CDMO value chain. Massachusetts-based Charles River noted that the acquisition will help establish it as a scientific partner for cell and gene therapy development, testing and manufacturing, by providing clients with an integrated solution, from basic research and discovery, through cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) production.

James C. Foster, Charles River’s chairman, president and CEO, says that this acquisition provides the CRO with the chance to further extend its reach in the therapy development process.

“Cognate BioServices presents a unique opportunity to expand into a high-growth, value-added sector of the CDMO market and enhance our ability to meet our clients’ needs in emerging areas of scientific innovation,” he explained. “This acquisition will be an exceptional strategic fit, adding to our comprehensive suite of early-stage research and manufacturing support solutions, and enabling us to achieve our goal of establishing a single scientific partner to provide biopharmaceutical clients with an integrated solution to help accelerate their cell and gene therapy programs, from discovery and non-clinical development, through commercialization.”