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The partners have established PathoQuest, Inc., a US subsidiary, and will construct an NGS-based testing lab at Charles River’s Wayne, PA, site.
PathoQuest SAS, a French genomics company specializing in quality control testing of biologics, has established a US subsidiary with its strategic partner, Charles River Laboratories International, a contract research organization (CRO). The new subsidiary is named PathoQuest, Inc.
In addition to the new subsidiary, the partners will also construct a new laboratory at Charles River’s Wayne, PA, site that will use next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based testing technology. The new lab will expand the partners’ capabilities by providing a fully integrated and reliable solution for rapid viral safety testing of biologics, notably advanced therapeutic medicinal products (ATMPs) and vaccines, according to a Nov. 12, 2020 press release.
This expansion will offer North American biotechnology companies an NGS testing facility in the United States that identifies adventitious agents using PathoQuest’s rapid, in-vitro, comprehensive testing approach, accelerating biologic development timelines without compromising safety and efficacy. NGS can also be used to characterize the genetic information of cell lines.
Construction of PathoQuest’s new office and the new lab facility is scheduled to begin in late 2020 with NGS services expected to be available in 2021. Once complete, the lab will align with PathoQuest’s existing lab in Paris and offer current good manufacturing practices-compliant testing.
Charles River’s Wayne facility supports the development of biological products, including cell line characterization, viral safety, and viral clearance studies. Charles River made an additional direct investment in PathoQuest to help fund the 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,” said Birgit Girshick, corporate executive vice-president, Discovery and Safety Assessment, Biologics Testing Solutions, and Avian Vaccine Services, Charles River, in the press release.
“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,” said Jean-Francois Brepson, president and CEO, PathoQuest, in the press release.