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Testing firm reorganizes, launches new focus

J.K. Wall
November 10, 2008
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Indianapolis-based contract research firm Harlan Sprague Dawley has re-branded itself, bringing its multiple companies under one name - Harlan Laboratories Inc.

Harlan, which provides animal testing and other kinds of pre-clinical research services, employs 3,000 workers in 12 countries, including 300 in Indianapolis.

Its subsidiaries included SafePharm, a contract research firm for the chemical industry, RCC, a contract research firm for the pharmaceutical industry, and Teklad, a maker of diets and bedding for laboratory animals.

Now, all those companies will go by the name Harlan Laboratories. And their 14 Web sites in multiple countries have been consolidated into one.

"Our customers are global, and we've been global. But we just haven't presented it in a way that makes it easy for them to find information about us," said Emily Frische, Harlan's global director of marketing.

The rebranding was the idea of Harlan CEO Steve Sullivan, who joined Harlan in 2006 from Covance Inc., a New Jersey-based contract pharmaceutical research firm that has a large operation in Indianapolis.

Sullivan hired a professional identity firm to figure out which of Harlan's corporate names had the most value with customers, and to determine the best themes to communicate in the company's marketing.

The result is a new tagline: "helping you do research better." Harlan serves pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, chemical and agricultural firms.

"To help our customers accomplish that mission, we're changing - coming together under a single banner worldwide, with one vision, one set of values and a company-wide passion for scientific excellence," Sullivan said in a prepared statement.

Harlan will be announcing its new brand today and trying to raise its profile at a trade show in Indianapolis of the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science.

Sullivan also has tried to raise Harlan's profile locally by, for instance, getting the company involved in United Way of Central Indiana.

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