The National Experimental Biology Laboratory (NEBL) provides animal care and housing services to the university community and outside companies. Its qualified personnel (preclinical scientists, veterinarians, and veterinary technicians) also offers expertise in preclinical research in a multitude of animal species, including the development of new vaccines and drugs against emerging or progressive diseases. The NEBL is the only laboratory at a Canadian university to be accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC).
The National Experimental Biology Laboratory (NEBL), one of the few animal facilities in Canada that can accommodate large animals, is located on the campus of the INRS Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre.
In the heart of the Biotech City in Laval, this state-of-the-art facility is accredited for biomedical and preclinical research. The research conducted at the NEBL is subject to rigorous supervision and is carried out in full compliance with international standards regarding the protection and living conditions of animals, as well as environmental protection.
The NEBL offers housing services for various species of animals at biosafety levels 1, 2, and 3. It offers to its clients a research environment under controlled, confidential, and secure conditions.
The NEBL is one of the few animal facilities in Canada with a level 3 containment vivarium infrastructure available to external clients who wish to conduct contractual preclinical studies.
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The NEBL provides some in vitro services in collaboration with external partners. The experienced team is able to support clients in their projects, from the design of exploratory study protocols to the completion of a preclinical study.
The NEBL team includes veterinary technicians and scientists with expertise in many aspects of biological sciences. The team has developed numerous animal models for efficacy and early development studies. It serves both academic and industrial clients.
Immunology and infectious diseases
Agriculture and livestock solutions
The NEBL is the only Canadian university research facility to be accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), demonstrating compliance with the internationally recognized standards of the National Research Council’s Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.
Furthermore, it has a mandatory Good Animal Practice accreditation from the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), which has particularly stringent requirements. INRS has also developed an Animal Experimentation Ethics Policy (available in French only). All research protocols in use at the NEBL must therefore be reviewed and approved for compliance with the rules established by the Institutional Animal Care Committee (Comité institutionnel de protection des animaux – CIPA).
Biomedical research involves multiple steps before a drug or vaccine is brought to market. To evaluate the biological response induced by the drug or vaccine, experimental research very often requires the use of animal models. Given the multitude of physiological interactions involved, in vitro cellular approaches are not yet able to recreate an environment as complex as that of a human or animal body for the study of immune responses to a vaccine or drug.
The INRS Institutional Animal Care Committee (CIPA) is composed of researchers, students, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and members of the public who meet once a month. One of CIPA’s mandates is to ensure that animal experimentation complies with CCAC guidelines and that the staff and students performing the experimentation are adequately trained and follow the procedures and animal care best practices.
Large animals are used for research only when absolutely necessary. They represent only a tiny fraction of the animals used in research (less than 0.5% at INRS). Because they are intelligent and social, large animals are paired and we avoid housing them alone. Great apes (like chimpanzees and baboons) are not used in research at INRS.
Research company Nexelis and the NEBL have a strategic partnership for preclinical animal testing and immunological analysis. This partnership provides expanded, integrated global contract research services in toxicology, pharmacokinetics, and biomarker identification; proof-of-concept studies with multiple animal models; and basic and complex immunoassay services that can be tailored to clients’ needs for the development of candidate compounds.