For Small Biotechs: The most expensive real estate per square foot in any life sciences building is the vivarium. It ranges from $400 to $600 per square foot when all costs are fully captured for the tenant improvement or capital costs. And the 24/7/365 operational and regulatory burden that comes with managing a vivarium is overwhelming for most science-focused companies. While this investment in real estate and infrastructure might make sense for a well-capitalized, commercial-grade pharmaceutical company with a 15- to 20-year time horizon, it makes little sense for start-ups (whose average lifespan is 3-4 years) to burn their expensive, milestone-driven venture capital on a 15-year fixed asset.
For Larger Biotechs and Pharma: These organizations increasingly drive innovation and discovery through investments in smaller, compound-driven companies, like those already inside our facilities. Being near them makes sense. Furthermore, when these larger entities do select for internal investments in discovery, these targeted choices of therapeutic focus are provided shorter timespans in which to deliver value – given 2- to 3-year investment horizons internally are not unusual. Working with Explora to block out a suite of rooms may make more sense for even a large, well-capitalized pharma company testing a new (or old) therapeutic concept.
It means we have small, equipped vivaria rodent rooms ready for you to step into very quickly. You will share the common hallways with other clients, but you can have a private room(s) or, in some facilities, sometimes share a rack with other start-ups. Our rooms average 2 to 3 Innovive racks, for a total capacity of 350-525 cages. Adjacent procedural rooms can be arranged (if available) and some facilities have shared procedure rooms to which all tenants have access.
We take care of the animal husbandry, provide racks and cages... we take care of everything but your science. We can even help there; in many facilities we can provide technical hands to support your needs or cover a shift, maternity leave, holiday, vacation. Our role is to allow you to move faster into repeatable, high-quality science. Our services have been called “fractional vivaria” and “vivarium as a service” – whichever resonates best with you.
We’ve been there before, up and down. More often than not, our customers are asking to grow before we expected them to. We will help simplify the process, and we will help simplify the process so you always know where your budget stands so you will always know where your budget stands. We are accustomed to clients whose projects grow or need to downsize, and our abundance of research space means we can accommodate those needs as they arise. Do NOT stress about it, and do NOT hesitate to talk to your project coordinator when you see parameters shifting. We CAN help.
Whether you are already inside the Explora network or not, our services are scalable. We have worked with everyone from start-ups to industry giants, so if you are just starting out, we can help you understand the road ahead of you – and help you get where you need to go. In fact, our staffing depth and extensive experience means we are the perfect solution for your needs, because we bring insights gained from years of in-depth involvement in the biotech world of preclinical trials and contract research services.
Yes. That is a big part of what we do. In fact, nearly 30% of the total vivarium square footage that we manage is for clients who have their own facilities. We can provide the racking, caging, logistics, staffing for basic husbandry, and even their IACUC oversight – all customized to individual needs.
Once you contact us using information in the Contact Us page, our project coordinator will discuss your project with you. We will also send you our service agreement for your review. Once the agreement is signed by both parties, our project coordinator will work with you to design your experiments and come up with a budget. Study protocol and cost will be included in a formal quotation for your approval. Once the quotation is signed off by you, we can schedule and proceed with your experiment.
IACUC stands for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. It is an independent committee that oversees experimental study designs to ensure that animal research is both necessary and humane. Because Explora is an AAALAC-accredited institution, and we are fully committed to animal welfare, all research activities involving animals need to be reviewed and approved by the IACUC.
Many experimental designs (such as PK studies) fit into the parameters of our pre-approved protocols, and can be approved very quickly. Unique programs may need to be reviewed by our full IACUC committee, which meets at least once a month.
In both our OnDemand and OnSite vivarium solutions, we feel Innovive is a prime reason we can offer best-in-class services at a fair price. As Innovive explains, “the Innovive Disposable IVC Rodent Caging System for mice and rats is a comprehensive end-to-end animal husbandry solution.”
In a nutshell, Innovive’s products are single-use, recyclable cages with a variety of caging lids suited to all types of research. Each has a dual HEPA-filtered ventilation system and is made of 100% high-viscosity PET, BPA-free plastic that is fully recyclable, with a patented thin-wall lightweight caging. They come to us double-bagged, fully irradiated, and ready to use.
Innovive caging allows us to quickly and easily provide clean, fresh caging for our animals, which reduces their stress, but also keeps the science accurate and repeatable, because sterilization is never a concern.
Space-wise, this means we do not need the large, resource-draining cleaning facilities that come from reusing the same cages. The real estate, water and electricity demands are dramatically lower than with other alternatives. It frees up staffing to focus on more important matters, like caring for the animals and staying on-schedule with observation, data-gathering, and science.
We can do better than that, we can often provide them for you. Whether you need surgical expertise for an extended duration or just a couple times a month, we are prepared to provide animal technical services of all kinds. While it is still a growing part of our business, we have found it to be a vital service that keeps our clients coming back again and again, and we are happy we can meet this critical requirement in making your experiments a success.