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What people think about animal research and its reality are different, he said. Researchers conduct the studies humanely.

In Everett, the company breeds, sells and conducts tests on cynomolgus monkeys, or “cynos,” which are commonly used in medical experimentation. A research monkey can sell for upward of $3,500.

The Food and Drug Administration mandates animal testing before pharmaceuticals can be researched in humans.

Researchers use primates to determine safety, dosage and side effects. That comes after first studying the drug in test tubes and rodents.

“It puts a parentheses of safety around humans,” Crane said.

SNBL keeps its primates in optimal condition as part of its study protocols. Any health problem that a monkey experiences during an experiment can be linked to the drug being tested.

“My monkeys are much healthier than you are,” Crane said. “We want to take care of these things because, frankly, that’s our business.”

Though SNBL’s client list remains under wraps due to the controversy surrounding animal testing, it includes several major public universities that conduct medical research, such as the University of Washington. The company tries to help researchers attain investigational new drug status for their products. That’s a permission slip for a pharmaceutical company or research institution to move on to testing in humans.

SNBL helps develop biologic products, such as vaccines, cancer medicines or gene therapies that address major medical defects.

“The testing is for significant human disease,” said Robert Rose, the lead veterinarian at the Everett site. Rose said he joined the medical research industry because he could affect the lives of 4,000 monkeys, instead of caring for one animal at a time, while simultaneously improving human health. He said it’s fulfilling to know that those animals are helping to develop new drugs, particularly those for children with serious medical conditions.

“My whole role here is animal welfare,” he said.

Rose said company veterinarians hold absolute veto power over any test or procedure.

If they determine an animal is suffering, research stops.

“There’s this idea that we’re grabbing random things like mad scientists,” Rose said. “It’s all very prescribed.”

Rose is tasked with keeping the monkeys comfortable and alleviating pain during the testing.

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