Frequently Asked Questions


Choosing to use a Contract Research Organization (CRO) for your studies involves weighing multiple factors and engaging in a detailed cost-benefit analysis to make sure you can leverage your available resources for the best scientific results.

Whether you’re an experienced user of CROs and contract vivariums or this is your first time needing one, we’re sure you have questions – both in general and about Woodburn Laboratory specifically. Below we provide some answers to assist in your decision-making process.

And of course, if you cannot find the information you need below, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Woodburn Laboratory directly.

CRO-Related Questions

CRO-Related Questions

A pre-clinical CRO like Woodburn Laboratory is a group of research experts available to help move your research forward in a time- and cost-effective manner. CROs often have capabilities and resources that certain researchers don’t have immediately at their disposal, such as specialized equipment and a full-service research vivarium. Pre-clinical CROs specialize in in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro studies that are necessary before a drug or biologic enters Phase I/II clinical trials.

There are many benefits to outsourcing part of your research to a pre-clinical CRO and vivarium like Woodburn Laboratory:

  • We have experience with animal models and/or studies that you or your research team might not have.
  • We have expensive, state-of-the-art equipment you might not currently have access to.
  • We have a ready facility with proper animal housing, climate controls, food, water, enrichment, PPE, and other supplies you don’t need to provide yourself.
  • We can take over time-intensive parts of your research, allowing you to use your own time more efficiently.
  • We can process your ex vivo samples, analyze the data, and provide you with a research report so you can move to the next step in your study.
  • We have an in-house IACUC that can provide oversight to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and standards pertaining to animal research.
  • You can benefit from the combined experience, perspective, and expertise of the laboratory technicians and scientists on our team.

There are many. Most important is whether the capabilities of the CRO fit your research needs. The only way to determine that is to contact multiple CROs to hear their pitches. Websites can be great sources of information, but they are impersonal and abstract.

Contacting candidate CROs directly and engaging in a discussion about your needs vs. the CRO’s capabilities will put you in a better position to evaluate the CRO properly. This will also give you a chance to evaluate the personality of the professionals you will be entrusting your critical research to, and whether you want to consider them as partners.

Beyond those basic factors, there are other considerations to take into account when evaluating whether a certain CRO is right for you:

  • Staff Continuity: How much turnover does the CRO have in its staff? Can you feel confident that the candidate CRO will have the same technicians and scientists working on your study from start to finish? Large, global CROs can attract young, talented scientists and technicians, but often the CRO is an early steppingstone in their careers. (For reference, please see this article from Business Wire.) Smaller, boutique CROs might present more staffing stability. At Woodburn Laboratory, turnover is low – our core team has been essentially the same since our inception.

  • Responsiveness and Agility: In theory, you hire a CRO to make your research easier and more efficient. But if your candidate CRO can’t respond to your requests in a timely fashion or seems inflexible in tailoring their services to your specific research needs, it might be an indication the CRO is not the right fit for you. Although some CROs have impressive capabilities in the abstract, the rubber meets the road in how those capabilities are mobilized for your particular pre-clinical study. Make sure, for instance, that your candidate CRO cares as much about pre-clinical work as they do Phase III clinical trials for larger clients. At Woodburn Laboratory, we specialize in pre-clinical studies.

  • Pricing: Let’s face it: partnering with a CRO only makes sense for you if you get a good return on investment. Multiple CROs might be able to execute your study protocol or provide you with a laboratory service, but at what cost? At Woodburn Laboratory, we realize the constraints certain researchers feel with respect to their available resources. As a small company ourselves, we understand the importance of efficiency. Our entire business model is predicated on empowering researchers of all sizes by offering CRO and vivarium services at reasonable rates.

Still have questions? We will do our best to give you answers.

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Vivarium and Animal Research Questions

Woodburn Laboratory is reserved for studies with mice and rats. Often, rodent experiments are the critical first in vivo step of research into drug and biologic candidates. Our animal technicians are familiar with many different rodent models in many different experimental designs. Please explore the links above to our in vivo services to learn more.

All animal studies at Woodburn Laboratory are conducted according to our OLAW Assurance regarding animal welfare and all animal research protocols must be approved by our in-house Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). As such, all proposed studies involving animal research (A) must justify that the use of research animals in the study provides a clear benefit to humans or other animals and (B) must demonstrate that all non-animal in vitro precursor research has been exhausted (i.e., that non-animal research approaches are not available).

IACUC stands for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The IACUC is an independent oversight board overseeing all animal research at the facility. The Committee includes at least one veterinarian and at least one professional member otherwise unassociated with Woodburn Laboratory. Our IACUC must approve all protocols for animal research undertaken at the vivarium and is on-call to review any study problems that arise or investigate any ethical or animal-welfare concerns. The IACUC can also serve a consultative role in the design of study protocols, drawing on their years of experience in the veterinary, animal research, and bench research worlds.

Yes! Woodburn Laboratory staff conduct the day-to-day business of the facility according to IACUC-approved SOPs that we would be more than happy to share with you. Our guiding principles in the conduct of SOPs are (A) ensuring animal welfare and (B) ensuring accurate, methodical, and high-quality pre-clinical data generation for our clients.

Of course! While Woodburn Laboratory is fully stocked to perform the animal studies mentioned throughout this website, we can accommodate use of your own equipment. After all, it’s your research.

No! Woodburn Laboratory welcomes experimental designs of all sizes – there is no minimum requirement of animals used or cages occupied. Unlike some other vivarium facilities, we will never charge you for space you don’t need.

Yes! Our size and business model means that our IACUC is responsive and flexible if your scientific discoveries lead you in a different direction than expected. We can review updated protocols and quickly quote additions to your pre-clinical study design when needed.


Do you need assistance designing your experiment? We offer custom protocol design, including guidance on how to properly power your study.

Ready for the in vivo stage of your pharmacological research? Woodburn Laboratory is a full-service vivarium that can accommodate your rat or mouse model.

Looking for help with your in vitro studies? Our cell and molecular biology team has the state-of-the-art technology and laboratory expertise to move your research forward.

Advance your science with us.

Woodburn Laboratory is ready to take on your preclinical study today. Contact us to discuss the many ways we can move your research forward.

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