Big4Bio recently conducted an interview with Explora BioLabs’ CEO Nathaniel “Sandy” Paige in which he discussed the rapid expansion of Explora’s Vivarium-as-a-Service® solutions, how the company is streamlining early-stage preclinical research, and more.
An excerpt of the interview is below. For the full interview, go here.
Q: What does OnDemand Vivarium-as-a-Service® mean? How has it influenced the preclinical industry?
A: We’ve enabled our clients to accelerate their research because they can start their preclinical program sooner than if they built and staffed their in vivo space themselves. We even provide them the opportunity to do better research because they’re not likely to build an AAALAC-accreditable vivarium when they do it themselves. “Standarding” around high-quality facilities will improve the repeatability of the work.
In terms of flexibility, we tend to see our clients come in and take one room; the next year they might take two rooms; and the year after that they might take a third room. That ability to scale up—or if they have run low in funding, scale down—is essential.
What you’re seeing is that fewer vivariums are being built. For example, in San Diego, where Explora BioLabs has ten facilities, very few clients are building new vivariums because we have a high-quality, research-ready facility pretty much everywhere they might want to go. It makes no sense for them to spend that money and deal with the regulations and labor infrastructure required to run it. It makes more sense for them to use ours and we’re probably next door anyway.
Q: What type of company is best suited to the outsourced vivarium model?
A: I’m not sure anyone should build their own vivarium anymore. I don’t think it makes sense in most situations – although many still do and will. I will say with certainty that the fastest uptick is with the small- and medium-sized biotechs that are still doing important discovery and preclinical work; they are probably venture-funded, and probably in a Series A, B, C, or D stage. What they need is “speed-to-data.” They need good, repeatable data to advance their drug, both with the FDA and with their investors, to get more venture money for continuing that research. For those who need fast, clean, repeatable data, using our Vivarium-as-a-Service® is a straightforward decision. And we can have them ready to initiate studies in as little as two weeks in our facilities.
For the full interview, go here.