Charles River Laboratories and Atomwise Form a Strategic Alliance to Provide Integrated, Artificial Intelligence-Driven Drug Discovery

Jan. 11, 2019 13:00 UTC

Charles River reaffirms commitment to the future of drug discovery by advancing the Company’s integrated, innovative early-stage platform

WILMINGTON, Mass. & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL) and Atomwise, Inc. today announced the formation of a strategic alliance that offers clients access to Atomwise’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, structure-based, drug design technology, which allows scientists to predict how well a small molecule will bind to a target protein of interest. By removing sole reliance on empirical screening, AI enables drug researchers to test an extremely large and diverse chemical space in a matter of days and move through the optimization process quickly by focusing only on those compounds predicted to have improved target-binding attributes.

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This alliance combines two industry-leading drug discovery platforms: Atomwise’s AI technology and Charles River’s unique portfolio of end-to-end drug discovery and early-stage development capabilities and expertise. Leveraging Atomwise’s AI technology and Charles River’s integrated drug discovery platform has the potential to significantly streamline the hit discovery, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization process for clients’ research efforts.

Through the collaboration, Charles River will have access to Atomwise’s AI technology to use with their existing portfolio of drug discovery services. Atomwise’s patented technology can analyze billions of compounds and screen challenging target proteins in the small molecule drug discovery process. The advantages of Atomwise’s AI technology will provide Charles River’s clients with the opportunity to efficiently screen billions, and evaluate thousands, of compounds to optimize potency, selectivity, and toxicity during hit and lead identification before committing resources to assays or syntheses.

As a result, Charles River’s clients can expect increased efficiency and diversity in the drug discovery process, ultimately reducing the expected timeline for an integrated drug discovery project and expanding the chemical space examined.

Furthering a Commitment to Flexible, Efficient Drug Discovery

The Atomwise AI technology platform will allow Charles River to enhance standard approaches to the identification and optimization of small molecules. This represents another progressive step for Charles River as the company has completed a series of technology partnerships that both elevate and expand the reach of its portfolio, providing Charles River’s clients with next-generation discovery platforms to accelerate programs into the clinic.

Approved Quotes

  • “As Charles River continues to expand its early drug discovery portfolio, innovative solutions, including Atomwise’s AI technology, enable us to provide clients with a comprehensive, integrated platform for their early-stage drug research. By cutting time out of each stage of the drug discovery process, we enable our clients to deliver novel therapeutics to patients more efficiently and effectively.” –James Foster, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles River Laboratories
  • “We are proud to put this cutting-edge technology in the hands of our scientists and clients. The potential for both time savings and program optimization represents an attractive value proposition for our clients.” –Birgit Girshick, Corporate Executive Vice President, Discovery and Safety Assessment of Charles River Laboratories
  • “We went through a rigorous process in selecting a CRO. We needed a partner that matched our commitment to quality and integrity because trust is critical for drug discovery. A global leader like Charles River, trusted around the world for high quality services, was a perfect fit for Atomwise.” –Abraham Heifets, CEO of Atomwise

About Atomwise

Atomwise, Inc. invented the first deep learning AI technology for structure-based small molecule drug discovery. Created in 2012, today Atomwise performs hundreds of projects per year in partnership with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies, as well as more than one hundred universities and hospitals in 19 countries. Atomwise has raised over $50 million from leading venture capital firms to support the development and application of its AI technology.

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


Investor Contact:
Charles River
Todd Spencer
Corporate Vice President, Investor Relations

Media Contacts:

Charles River
Amy Cianciaruso
Corporate Vice President, Public Relations

Sara Dunn


Source: Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.

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