EVERETT — SNBL USA, an Everett animal testing facility that’s come under scrutiny in the past for alleged mistreatment of research animals, has been sold to a Canadian firm that provides services for the development of new medical treatments.
Altasciences Co., which has facilities in Montreal, Kansas and North Dakota, recently purchased the research lab at 6605 Merrill Creek Parkway from Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories, a Tokyo-based firm.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
SNBL USA, located on a 29-acre site, was founded in 1999 as an animal breeding and testing facility. The facility tested pharmaceutical drugs on monkeys, and also bred primates for sale to other scientific researchers.
Under Shin Nippon’s ownership SNBL USA came under fire by animal-rights activists over the alleged mistreatment and death of animals in its care. In 2014, the Everett facility reportedly housed more than 1,000 monkeys, hundreds of rabbits and dogs, and thousands of rodents.
SNBL USA was fined $185,000 in 2016 over a federal complaint that 38 monkeys died in the company’s care over a five-year period. Shin Nippon reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that same year.
Altasciences, the lab’s new owner, provides early-stage research and other services to support the development of new drugs and treatments for humans.
The Everett facility is expected to continue to provide animal-related testing services.
Altasciences CEO Chris Perkins said: “We’re delighted that we’ve completed the purchase.”
The acquisition “transforms our business,” Perkins said. “It completes the major piece that we need to be able to take a drug from the time it’s first selected as being a candidate for development right the way through to that proof of concept” — proof that an early stage drug or treatment shows promise, Perkins said.
The Laval, Quebec-based company offers bio-analysis, bio-statistics and other services.
Clients include drug development firms and biopharmaceutical and medical device companies.
According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, animals must sometimes be used to test drugs, vaccines and medical devices to determine their safety.
“There are still many areas where animal testing is necessary,” the agency says on its website.
Animal research studies are required to follow FDA guidelines.
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