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Charles River Laboratories, in Collaboration With MatTek Life Sciences, Awarded Grant from the Foundation for Chemistry Research and Initiatives to Advance Research Alternatives

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The project will utilize an integrated approach to develop an in vitro alternative to inhalation toxicology studies.

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.  announced last week a multidisciplinary program, funded through a $1.3 million grant from the Foundation for Chemistry Research & Initiatives (FCRI), in coordination with the American Chemistry Council’s Long-Range Research Initiative (ACC LRI), to develop a New Approach Methodology (NAM) inhalation toxicology test to reduce reliance on traditional animal research methods. The program is a collaboration between Charles River’s Edinburgh, Scotland team, along with BICO company MatTek Life Sciences (in vitro EpiAirway™ model and expertise), dosimetry modeling by Battelle, and modeling consultancy from Greek Creek Toxicokinetics Consulting, LLC. This collaboration is guided by Charles River’s Alternative Methods Advancement Project (AMAP), an initiative focused on reducing the use of animals in research.

“We are deeply committed to advancing alternative methods, and this program is an important step toward removing the need for animal models in inhalation toxicology studies,” said Shannon Parisotto, Corporate Executive Vice President, Global Discovery & Safety Assessment. “Charles River’s industry-leading expertise uniquely positions us to progress research in this area, and we are excited by the multidisciplinary partnership that will drive this program forward.”

The grant was awarded by FCRI in support of ACC LRI’s mission to catalyze innovations in chemical safety assessment sciences. This grant will advance the development of an integrated approach to the testing and assessment of chemicals, allowing researchers to use screening assays for safety and efficacy testing of aerosol substances without needing to utilize animal research models.

“The collaborative team from Charles River, MatTek, Battelle, and Greek Creek Toxicokinetic Consulting developed a thorough scientific program of work in response to our call for proposals that will significantly advance in vitro inhalation safety assessment methods. The data from this research project will be integral to informing scientific confidence for applying this NAM in product stewardship and regulatory evaluations,” said Richard Becker, Lead Scientist, ACC LRI.

“By integrating MatTek’s advanced 3D human tissue models into toxicology testing workflows, we are bridging the gap between animal testing and human biology,” said Alex Armento, Chief Executive Officer, MatTek. “This partnership marks a pivotal moment where innovation and collaboration will lead us toward safer and more reliable outcomes for all.”

Parisotto added: “As an organization, we are continuously working to advance the 4Rs, and our Responsibility to develop safe, effective alternatives is embedded in everything we do.”

About MatTek Life Sciences
Founded in 1985, MatTek Life Sciences began producing three-dimensional human tissue models as reliable replacements for animal testing. MatTek’s physiologically advanced tissue models empower companies in the cosmetics, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries to achieve their goals of non-animal testing while lowering preclinical costs and providing human-relevant results. With locations in the US and Europe, today MatTek’s offerings include skin, eye, oral, respiratory, vaginal, and intestinal tissue models including disease modeling, validated, and custom testing services, multiple donor primary cells, culture media, and highly optical culture ware.

About the Alternative Methods Advancement Project (AMAP)
The Alternative Methods Advancement Project (AMAP) is a Charles River initiative dedicated to developing alternatives to reduce the use of animals in testing. As we enter the next frontier of drug development, AMAP will ensure we invest strategically and purposefully to lead the way toward a future where more patients receive needed treatments and medicines safely, swiftly, and successfully. In keeping with our commitment to the 4Rs, we are dedicated to pursuing scientific and technological innovations to explore new exciting ways we can further reduce the use of animals in testing. The guidance of AMAP will help us align our investments, partnerships, product and service initiatives, and advocacy efforts as we commit to investing $300 million over the next five years to further enhance this critical mission and drive industry-wide adoption of alternatives.

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

Margaux Babineau
Director of Marketing,
MatTek Life Sciences

Amy Cianciaruso
Corporate Vice President,
Chief Communications Officer

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