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Innovative Charles River Laboratories Right at Home in Kansas

Mar 08, 2024

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Charles River Laboratories in Kansas is using innovative digital technologies and solutions to help more people receive effective medical treatments as safely and quickly as possible.

At work in their state-of-the-art Integrated Toxicology Site in Stilwell, Kansas, Charles River works to accelerate the challenging, complex development of drugs, chemicals and medical devices. Their nearly 70,000-square-foot facility near Kansas City is home to a team of scientists with more than a century of combined scientific experience.

Brian Roche, general manager of Charles River Laboratories in Kansas, said the company was founded in 1947 and supports leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide in drug development. With more than 21,000 employees in over 150 facilities across 21 countries, Charles River has worked on over 80 percent of the FDA-approved drugs in the last five years.

The company’s decision to locate key operations in Kansas fit the state’s Framework for Growth, which singles out bioscience as a prime target industry sector. The use of artificial intelligence and automation have Charles River embracing the emphasis on innovative pursuit of cutting-edge technologies, which is another emphasis of the Kansas Framework for Growth.

In Kansas, Charles River invested $31 million to upgrade and open a dilapidated facility previously used for drug research and development. Their plan calls for 290 new good-paying jobs over five years — career opportunities sure to encourage more young Kansans to stay home to launch their careers, which is a high priority of Governor Laura Kelly and her administration.

Roche said there were many reasons Kansas stood out as a location for their facility. Distinct difference-makers included Kansas’ strategic central location; the acclaimed work of research hospitals and universities in the state; a talented workforce able to support job growth with opportunities in life sciences, finance, IT, sales and beyond; and the overall vision to grow the greater Kansas City area. Roche also cited incentives offered by the Kansas Department of Commerce that were based on the company’s capital investment and number of anticipated and qualified employees eligible for training through Promoting Employment Across Kansas (PEAK).

Charles River’s urgency in creating innovative medical solutions that help people worldwide also reflects Kansas’ focus on being the best place to pursue groundbreaking products that improve lives in Kansas and beyond.