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Company > Charles River Laboratories: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Charles River Laboratories: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: May 27, 2023

Inside This Article


    The blog article "Charles River Laboratories: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023" provides an in-depth analysis of Charles River Laboratories, a leading provider of research products and services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The article will explore the company's business model, highlighting its key revenue streams and operational strategies. Additionally, a thorough SWOT analysis will identify the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the current market landscape. Furthermore, the article will discuss Charles River Laboratories' main competitors and their potential impact on the company's future growth and success.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Charles River Laboratories and its significance in the industry
    • The mission statement of Charles River Laboratories and how it guides their operations
    • How Charles River Laboratories generates revenue and their business model explained
    • An overview of the competitors of Charles River Laboratories and their market position
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Charles River Laboratories, highlighting their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

    Who owns Charles River Laboratories?

    Overview of Charles River Laboratories

    Charles River Laboratories is a leading global provider of essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotech companies accelerate their drug discovery and development processes. With a focus on early-stage research and development, Charles River Laboratories offers a wide range of preclinical and clinical services, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of research models and associated products.

    Ownership Structure

    As of the latest available information, Charles River Laboratories is a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "CRL." This means that the ownership of the company is distributed among various individuals and institutional investors who hold shares of its common stock.

    At present, there is no single majority owner of Charles River Laboratories. The company's ownership is dispersed among a diverse group of shareholders, including mutual funds, pension funds, individual investors, and other financial institutions. This broad ownership structure ensures that no single entity has sole control over the company's operations and decision-making processes.

    Key Shareholders

    While the ownership of Charles River Laboratories is spread across multiple shareholders, there are several notable institutional investors who hold significant stakes in the company. These investors include renowned asset management firms such as The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and State Street Corporation.

    The Vanguard Group, one of the largest investment management companies globally, holds a substantial ownership stake in Charles River Laboratories. As of the latest available disclosure, The Vanguard Group owns approximately 9% of the company's outstanding shares. BlackRock, another prominent investment management firm, also holds a significant stake, accounting for around 8% of the total shares.

    Apart from these institutional investors, Charles River Laboratories has a substantial number of individual shareholders who collectively own a considerable portion of the company's stock. These individual investors include both retail investors and insiders, such as executives and members of the board of directors.


    Charles River Laboratories is a publicly traded company with a dispersed ownership structure, ensuring a diversified shareholder base. While no single entity holds a majority stake, prominent institutional investors like The Vanguard Group and BlackRock have significant ownership positions. This diverse ownership structure reflects the appeal of Charles River Laboratories' business model and its position as a key player in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

    What is the mission statement of Charles River Laboratories?

    The Mission Statement of Charles River Laboratories

    Charles River Laboratories is a leading global provider of research models and preclinical services to support the drug discovery and development process. The company's mission statement reflects its commitment to helping clients make critical decisions that accelerate their research and improve the chances of successful drug development.

    The mission statement of Charles River Laboratories can be summarized as follows:

    "To support our clients in advancing human health through innovative research and development solutions."

    This mission statement highlights the company's dedication to assisting its clients in their pursuit of scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to improve the lives of millions of individuals worldwide. Charles River Laboratories recognizes the importance of developing innovative solutions that address the complex challenges of drug discovery and development.

    The company's mission statement emphasizes the following key points:

    1. Client Support: Charles River Laboratories is committed to providing exceptional support to its clients. By partnering with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and academic institutions, the company aims to understand and meet their unique research and development needs.

    2. Advancement of Human Health: The primary goal of Charles River Laboratories is to contribute to the advancement of human health. The company understands the significance of its role in the drug discovery and development process and strives to facilitate the creation of safe and effective drugs that can improve patient outcomes.

    3. Innovative Research and Development Solutions: Charles River Laboratories recognizes that innovation is crucial to success in the rapidly evolving field of drug discovery. The company is dedicated to providing cutting-edge research models, preclinical services, and scientific expertise to support the development of novel therapeutics.

    By adhering to its mission statement, Charles River Laboratories aims to be at the forefront of scientific progress, driving innovation, and assisting its clients in achieving their research goals. The company's commitment to excellence, integrity, and collaboration ensures that it remains a trusted partner in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

    How does Charles River Laboratories make money?

    Overview of Charles River Laboratories

    Before diving into how Charles River Laboratories makes money, let's have a brief overview of the company. Charles River Laboratories is a leading contract research organization (CRO) that provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies accelerate their drug discovery and development processes. With a strong focus on research models and associated services, Charles River Laboratories plays a crucial role in supporting the development of life-saving drugs and therapies.

    Core Revenue Streams

    1. Research Models and Services: Charles River Laboratories is well-known for its comprehensive portfolio of research models, which include genetically modified animals, purpose-bred rats and mice, and non-human primates. These models serve as vital tools for scientists and researchers to study diseases, evaluate drug efficacy, and gain a deeper understanding of various biological processes. Additionally, the company offers a range of specialized services such as genetic testing, preclinical imaging, and bioanalysis, further enhancing its revenue streams within the research models segment.

    2. Discovery and Safety Assessment Services: Another significant source of revenue for Charles River Laboratories is its discovery and safety assessment services. These services involve conducting preclinical studies to assess the safety and efficacy of potential drug candidates. Charles River Laboratories provides a wide array of services within this segment, including toxicology studies, safety pharmacology evaluations, and pathology services. By offering high-quality and reliable testing services, the company helps its clients navigate the complex regulatory landscape and make informed decisions regarding their drug development pipelines.

    3. Biologics Testing Solutions: As the development of biologic drugs continues to grow rapidly, Charles River Laboratories has positioned itself as a key player in providing biologics testing solutions. This segment primarily focuses on providing analytical testing services to assess the quality, purity, and potency of biologic drugs. With expertise in various techniques such as chromatography, immunoassays, and molecular biology, the company assists clients in ensuring their biologic products meet regulatory requirements and maintain consistent quality throughout their lifecycle.

    Additional Revenue Sources

    In addition to the core revenue streams mentioned above, Charles River Laboratories generates income through several other avenues. These include:

    • Consulting Services: The company offers specialized consulting services to assist clients in areas such as regulatory compliance, study design, and data interpretation. This consultancy expertise helps clients optimize their research and development processes and streamline their path to regulatory approval.

    • Manufacturing and Support Services: Charles River Laboratories operates manufacturing facilities that produce and distribute research models and associated products. This includes animal diets, bedding, and other laboratory supplies. The company also provides technical support and training to its clients, ensuring they can effectively utilize the research models and services offered.

    • Genetically Engineered Models and Services: Charles River Laboratories leverages its expertise in genetic engineering to provide clients with customized genetically modified animal models. These models are tailored to specific research needs, allowing clients to study diseases and evaluate potential therapies in a more targeted manner.


    Charles River Laboratories derives its revenue from a diverse range of sources within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Through its research models and services, discovery and safety assessment services, biologics testing solutions, and additional revenue streams like consulting and manufacturing, the company continues to support and contribute to advancements in drug discovery and development. By offering comprehensive solutions and maintaining a strong reputation for quality and scientific expertise, Charles River Laboratories remains a key player in the contract research organization space.

    Charles River Laboratories Business Model Canvas Explained

    Introduction to Charles River Laboratories

    Charles River Laboratories is a leading global contract research organization (CRO) that provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies accelerate their drug discovery and development processes. With over 70 years of experience, Charles River Laboratories has established itself as a trusted partner in the preclinical and clinical research industry.

    What is a Business Model Canvas?

    Before diving into Charles River Laboratories' business model canvas, it is important to understand what a business model canvas is. Developed by Alexander Osterwalder, the business model canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a holistic view of a company's business model. It consists of nine key building blocks that illustrate how a company creates, delivers, and captures value.

    Key Building Blocks of Charles River Laboratories' Business Model Canvas

    1. Customer Segments

    Charles River Laboratories primarily serves pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as academic institutions and government agencies involved in drug research and development. The company caters to a wide range of customer segments, including small startups, mid-sized companies, and large multinational corporations.

    2. Value Proposition

    The core value proposition of Charles River Laboratories revolves around its ability to provide comprehensive and integrated solutions throughout the drug discovery and development continuum. The company offers a broad portfolio of products and services, including research models, preclinical testing, clinical support services, and manufacturing support.

    3. Channels

    To reach its customers, Charles River Laboratories employs a multi-channel approach. The company utilizes a combination of direct sales teams, digital marketing strategies, partnerships, and collaborations to ensure its products and services are accessible to its target audience.

    4. Customer Relationships

    Establishing strong customer relationships is crucial for Charles River Laboratories' success. The company focuses on building long-term partnerships with its customers through personalized interactions, regular communication, and exceptional customer service. Additionally, Charles River Laboratories values feedback from its customers to continually improve its offerings.

    5. Revenue Streams

    Charles River Laboratories generates revenue through various streams. These include sales of research models, laboratory services, consulting services, and licensing fees. Additionally, the company may also receive royalties from intellectual property licensing and collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.

    6. Key Resources

    The key resources of Charles River Laboratories encompass its world-class research facilities, advanced technologies, highly skilled scientists and researchers, extensive network of suppliers, and strong relationships with regulatory authorities. These resources enable the company to deliver high-quality products and services to its customers.

    7. Key Activities

    The key activities of Charles River Laboratories revolve around research and development, preclinical and clinical testing, manufacturing support, and regulatory compliance. The company invests heavily in innovation and continuously enhances its capabilities to meet the evolving needs of the pharmaceutical industry.

    8. Key Partnerships

    Charles River Laboratories collaborates with various partners to complement its offerings and expand its reach. These partnerships include academic institutions, contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), and technology providers. By leveraging these partnerships, the company can provide comprehensive solutions to its customers.

    9. Cost Structure

    To sustain its operations, Charles River Laboratories incurs costs associated with research and development, facility maintenance, employee salaries, marketing, regulatory compliance, and technology investments. By managing its costs effectively, the company can maintain competitive pricing while delivering value to its customers.


    Charles River Laboratories' business model canvas provides a comprehensive overview of the company's strategic approach to serving its customers, generating revenue, and maintaining a strong competitive position in the contract research industry. By understanding the key building blocks of its business model, one can gain insights into the company's value proposition, target market, and operational strategies.

    Which companies are the competitors of Charles River Laboratories?

    Competitors of Charles River Laboratories

    Charles River Laboratories operates in a highly competitive industry, and there are several prominent companies that serve as its competitors. These companies offer similar services and solutions, often targeting the same customer base. Here are some of the key competitors of Charles River Laboratories:

    1. Covance: As one of the largest contract research organizations (CROs) globally, Covance competes directly with Charles River Laboratories. Covance offers a wide range of services, including preclinical research, clinical development, and commercialization support. With a global presence and a strong reputation, Covance is a significant competitor in the contract research market.

    2. LabCorp: LabCorp, also known as Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, is a leading healthcare diagnostics company that provides a variety of testing and research services. While LabCorp's primary focus is on clinical diagnostics, the company has a research division that competes with Charles River Laboratories in certain areas, such as toxicology and safety assessment.

    3. Envigo: Envigo is another major player in the contract research industry and offers a comprehensive range of research models and services. The company specializes in providing animal models and related services for preclinical research, which directly competes with Charles River Laboratories' Preclinical Services segment. With a strong emphasis on animal welfare and scientific expertise, Envigo is a notable competitor in this space.

    4. WuXi AppTec: WuXi AppTec is a leading global provider of R&D services in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The company offers a broad range of services, including discovery, development, and manufacturing. WuXi AppTec competes with Charles River Laboratories in areas such as safety assessment, bioanalysis, and drug metabolism research.

    5. Eurofins Scientific: Eurofins Scientific is a multinational life sciences company that provides a wide range of testing and research services across various industries, including pharmaceuticals and food. Eurofins competes with Charles River Laboratories in areas such as safety assessment, genetic toxicology, and environmental analysis. With a strong focus on quality and regulatory compliance, Eurofins is a significant competitor in the market.

    These are just a few examples of the many companies that compete with Charles River Laboratories. The competitive landscape in the contract research industry is constantly evolving, with new entrants and emerging market players also vying for market share. As a result, Charles River Laboratories must continually innovate and differentiate itself to maintain its competitive edge in the industry.

    Charles River Laboratories SWOT Analysis


    • Broad range of services: Charles River Laboratories offers a comprehensive suite of services in the field of drug discovery and development, including toxicology, safety assessment, and clinical support. This wide range of services allows the company to cater to the diverse needs of its clients and establish itself as a one-stop solution provider in the industry.

    • Established reputation: With over 70 years of experience in the life sciences industry, Charles River Laboratories has built a strong reputation for delivering high-quality research and development services. The company's commitment to scientific excellence and its track record of successful collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies have helped it gain the trust and confidence of its clients.

    • Global presence: Charles River Laboratories operates in more than 20 countries worldwide, with a network of state-of-the-art facilities strategically located to serve its global clientele. This extensive global presence not only allows the company to reach a wider customer base but also enables it to tap into different markets and leverage local expertise and resources.


    • Dependence on a few key clients: While Charles River Laboratories serves a diverse range of clients, it relies heavily on a few key clients for a significant portion of its revenue. This dependence on a limited number of clients exposes the company to the risk of losing business if any of these clients decide to switch to a competitor or reduce their outsourcing requirements.

    • Regulatory challenges: The life sciences industry is highly regulated, and Charles River Laboratories operates within a complex regulatory environment. Compliance with various regulatory requirements, such as Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), can be time-consuming and costly. Failure to meet these regulations could result in fines, penalties, or even the suspension of operations.


    • Growing demand for outsourced research and development: The increasing complexity of drug discovery and development processes, coupled with the rising cost of in-house research, has led to a growing trend of outsourcing these activities to specialized contract research organizations (CROs) like Charles River Laboratories. As pharmaceutical and biotech companies seek to streamline their operations and focus on core competencies, there is a significant opportunity for Charles River Laboratories to expand its customer base and capture a larger share of the growing market.

    • Advancements in technology: Rapid advancements in technology, such as artificial intelligence, genomics, and automation, are revolutionizing the life sciences industry. Charles River Laboratories can capitalize on these technological advancements to enhance its service offerings, improve efficiency, and deliver more accurate and reliable results to its clients. By investing in cutting-edge technologies and staying at the forefront of innovation, the company can gain a competitive edge and attract more customers.


    • Intense competition: The contract research organization market is highly competitive, with several established players vying for market share. Charles River Laboratories faces competition from both large multinational corporations and smaller niche CROs. These competitors may offer similar services at competitive prices or have unique capabilities that differentiate them in the market. To stay ahead, Charles River Laboratories needs to continuously innovate, differentiate itself from competitors, and provide superior customer service.

    • Economic downturns: The life sciences industry is not immune to economic downturns, and a slowdown in pharmaceutical and biotech spending can impact the demand for contract research services. During periods of economic uncertainty, companies may cut back on outsourcing or delay their research and development projects, which can adversely affect Charles River Laboratories' revenue and profitability. Therefore, the company needs to closely monitor economic trends and diversify its client base to mitigate the impact of economic downturns.

    Key Takeaways

    • Charles River Laboratories is a publicly traded company, meaning it is owned by its shareholders.
    • The mission statement of Charles River Laboratories is to help researchers and drug developers make new discoveries faster and more efficiently, ultimately improving the lives of patients.
    • Charles River Laboratories generates revenue through various services, including preclinical research, laboratory animal breeding, and drug discovery support.
    • The Business Model Canvas of Charles River Laboratories encompasses key activities such as research and development, production, and marketing, with a focus on serving the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.
    • Competitors of Charles River Laboratories include Covance, LabCorp, and Envigo, among others.
    • A SWOT analysis of Charles River Laboratories highlights its strengths in expertise and global presence, weaknesses in potential regulatory challenges, opportunities in the growing demand for drug development services, and threats from intense competition in the industry.


    In conclusion, Charles River Laboratories is solely owned by its shareholders, with no single individual or entity holding a majority stake. The mission statement of the company is to provide essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies accelerate their research and drug development efforts.

    Charles River Laboratories makes money through various revenue streams, including the sale of research models and services, contract research services, and laboratory animal support. Their business model canvas is built around delivering high-quality products and services, establishing long-term relationships with clients, and continuously investing in research and development to stay at the forefront of the industry.

    As for competitors, Charles River Laboratories faces competition from other contract research organizations (CROs) such as Covance, Eurofins Scientific, and LabCorp. These companies offer similar services and products, posing a challenge in terms of market share and customer acquisition.

    Conducting a SWOT analysis, we can identify Charles River Laboratories' strengths, such as their extensive expertise and industry reputation. They also have a wide range of offerings, enabling them to cater to diverse client needs. However, weaknesses include potential dependence on large pharmaceutical clients and the need for continuous innovation to stay competitive. Opportunities lie in the growing demand for pharmaceutical and biotechnology research, while threats include regulatory challenges and potential disruptions to the supply chain.

    Overall, Charles River Laboratories has established itself as a leading provider in the field of contract research services, with a clear mission, diverse revenue streams, and a solid business model. By leveraging their strengths and capitalizing on opportunities, they can continue to thrive in the highly competitive life sciences industry.


    What is SWOT analysis in medical laboratory?

    SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business, organization, or project. In the context of a medical laboratory, SWOT analysis can be conducted to assess the internal and external factors that can impact the laboratory's operations, performance, and future prospects.


    • High-quality and accurate testing services
    • State-of-the-art equipment and technology
    • Well-trained and experienced staff
    • Accreditation and compliance with regulatory standards
    • Strong relationships with healthcare providers and institutions


    • Limited capacity or resources
    • Lack of specialized testing capabilities
    • Inefficiencies in workflow or processes
    • High turnover or shortage of skilled personnel
    • Vulnerability to equipment breakdown or technical issues


    • Expansion of services to new geographic areas or markets
    • Collaboration with research institutions or pharmaceutical companies
    • Introduction of new testing methods or technologies
    • Increasing demand for medical testing services
    • Integration with electronic health records or telemedicine platforms


    • Competition from other medical laboratories
    • Changing reimbursement policies or declining reimbursement rates
    • Regulatory changes or increased scrutiny
    • Economic downturns affecting healthcare spending
    • Emergence of new diseases or outbreaks

    By analyzing these factors, a medical laboratory can identify areas of improvement, develop strategies to capitalize on opportunities, mitigate weaknesses, and address potential threats. This can help the laboratory in making informed decisions, setting goals, and formulating an effective business or operational plan.

    What are the weaknesses of laboratory?

    Some weaknesses of laboratories may include:

    1. Cost: Setting up and maintaining a laboratory can be expensive, requiring investments in equipment, materials, and skilled personnel.

    2. Limited space: Laboratories may have limited space, which can restrict the number and size of experiments that can be conducted simultaneously.

    3. Safety hazards: Laboratories often deal with hazardous materials and equipment, posing risks to the health and safety of personnel if not handled properly.

    4. Time-consuming: Experiments conducted in laboratories often require careful planning, execution, and analysis, which can be time-consuming and delay results.

    5. Limited external validity: Findings from laboratory experiments may not always generalize to real-world situations due to controlled conditions and the absence of certain variables.

    6. Lack of ecological validity: Laboratory settings may not accurately replicate real-world environments, potentially affecting the behavior or responses of participants or subjects.

    7. Bias and observer effect: The presence of researchers or observers in the laboratory can influence the behavior or responses of participants, leading to biased results.

    8. Ethical concerns: Some experiments conducted in laboratories may raise ethical concerns, such as those involving animal testing or invasive procedures on human subjects.

    9. Replicability issues: Replicating laboratory experiments can be challenging due to variations in equipment, materials, and procedural differences across different laboratories.

    10. Limited sample size: Laboratory experiments often involve a relatively small sample size, which can limit the generalizability of the findings and increase the risk of Type II errors.

    What is Charles River Laboratories strategy?

    Charles River Laboratories' strategy is to be the leading global provider of research models and preclinical drug development services. The company aims to accelerate drug discovery and development processes for its clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries.

    Key components of Charles River Laboratories' strategy include:

    1. Expanding its product and service offerings: The company aims to continuously enhance its research model portfolio and preclinical services to meet evolving client needs. This includes developing new models, providing specialized services, and investing in advanced technologies.

    2. Geographic expansion: Charles River Laboratories focuses on expanding its global footprint to provide local support to clients. The company aims to establish and acquire facilities in strategic locations around the world to ensure proximity to key markets and customers.

    3. Collaboration and partnerships: Charles River Laboratories actively seeks collaborative opportunities with industry partners, academic institutions, and government organizations. By working together, the company aims to leverage complementary expertise, access new technologies, and drive innovation in drug discovery and development.

    4. Operational efficiency and scale: The company strives to achieve operational efficiency by leveraging its global scale and infrastructure. This includes streamlining processes, optimizing resource allocation, and investing in automation and digital technologies to improve productivity and cost-effectiveness.

    5. Focus on quality and compliance: Charles River Laboratories prioritizes maintaining the highest standards of quality, compliance, and animal welfare. The company adheres to rigorous regulatory requirements and invests in training and monitoring programs to ensure ethical and responsible practices.

    Overall, Charles River Laboratories' strategy revolves around providing comprehensive and integrated solutions that enable clients to bring safe and effective therapies to patients faster.

    Who is Charles River Laboratories competitor?

    There are several companies that compete with Charles River Laboratories in the field of contract research services for drug development, including:

    1. Covance Inc.
    2. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp)
    3. PRA Health Sciences
    4. IQVIA Holdings Inc.
    5. WuXi AppTec Inc.
    6. Eurofins Scientific
    7. SGS SA
    8. Envigo
    9. Toxikon Corporation
    10. Pharmaron Inc.

    Please note that the competitive landscape can change over time, and there may be other companies operating in this space as well.

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