History Museum of CIEA

The Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA) is a global leader in the in vivo experimental medical arena. It is a very unique, independent organization that has never been controlled by a government organization, educational institution or a private company. This museum introduces the history of CIEA that extends to almost 70 years, together with various interesting events that have actually taken place over the decades.

III.The Development
Supply of SPF mice started.
Her Imperial Highness Princess Chichibu visited Nogawa Branch.
Artificial nursing of rats achieved.
Establishment of diet and environmental control and microbiologic testing methods for SPF animals.
Production of 20,000 SPF mice a month achieved.
Supply of SPF rats started.
Managing Director Kyoji Ando receives the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese Government.
Monthly production of diet reaches 60 tons.
Production/supply divisions separated to form the business entity, CLEA Japan Inc.
Tatsuji Nomura is awarded the First Saburo Kojima Memorial Culture Prize.
Collaborative research with Armour Co. in the US.
Reproduction and rearing of germfree animals achieved.
Tatsuji Nomura becomes Director of CLEA.
Medical Research Division established.
Collaborative research with National Institute of Health (NIH) and Michigan University.

R&D activities at CLEA started becoming very active from around 1963, when the production and sales of laboratory animals and pelleted diet finally went on track. Establishing the Medical Research Department in 1966, CLEA started to aggressively exploit the pre-clinical research area that contributes to the medical research and treatment of humankind.

Establishment of CLEA Japan Inc.

The start of the full-fledged operation of the SPF animal production facility in Nogawa pushed up the production number of laboratory animals and pelleted diet. In figures, the supply number of mice reached 150,000 in 1963, 120,000 of rats, and 410 tons for pelleted diet. By 1964, the figures rose sharply to 250,000 for mice, 150,000 of rats and 543 tons for pelleted diet.
Consequently, the financial conditions of CLEA greatly improved, and the institution came to mark a 180 million yen profit by 1964. Out of the total, 140 million was churned out by its business-operating divisions, while the non-profit sectors marked a total profit of 36 million yen. In total, the surplus reached almost 7 million yen.
Legally speaking, however, a foundation should be non-profit. Hence, the business operating departments were separated from the activities of CLEA to form CLEA Japan Inc. in February, 1965.

Logo of CLEA Japan Inc
yLogo of CLEA Japan Inc.z


It is ironic that the strong growth of CLEA in the latter half of 1960s is owed greatly to the Thalidomide Scandal. Thalidomide was a sleeping tablet released by a West German pharmaceutical company in 1957. To the shock of the international society, many children with malformed arms were born from mothers who took Thalidomide in their early stages of pregnancy. In Japan, 936 such children were born in the five years from 1958, when Thalidomide was first released in Japan, until 1963, when its production was finally stopped.
This was the first time in medical history that humans found out that drugs did not only harm the actual persons who took the dose but also those beyond, which in this case were the fetuses.
Hence in April, 1964, the Ministry of Health issued a notice of obligation to all pharmaceutical producers, requesting them to attach a document of proof on having conducted appropriate animal tests, whenever they applied for the approval and release of any new drug. In response to this legal decision, all pharmaceutical companies in Japan scrambled to arrange their own experimental animal facilities. This followed with the request of a large volume of high-quality laboratory animals, and CLEA consequently came to receive large orders from them.


Dr. Yanagiaes active and establishment of Basic Research Division of Medicine

A movement to consolidate a full-fledged research system arises, together with the progress of CLEA. One move was to change the English name from the Central Laboratory for Experimental Animals (CLEA) to the Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA).
Another significant move was the establishment of the Medical Research Department in 1966 by inviting Dr. Tomoji Yanagita, a post graduate of the University of Michigan who had specialized in the areas of drug dependence and psychopharmacology, and was already world-renowned for developing a machine that could measure an animalfs gquest for drugs.h
Dr. Yanagita actively promoted joint research with American universities, received consignment study requests from overseas pharmaceutical companies, and conducted long-term joint studies with the World Health Organization (WHO). The Medical Research Department became more independent with the construction of the research facility in Nogawa in 1968. Its R&D activities progressed further from 1969 onwards in the five areas of reproductive physiology, pharmacology, psychopharmacology, pathological toxicology and clinical pharmacology.
Despite such expansion in the research area, CIEA always focused its activities in the gpreclinical area,h thereby studying the cause and cure of human diseases by using laboratory animals. To date, this basic principle of CIEA remains unchanged.

Research Building Completed in Nogawa
yResearch Building Completed in Nogawaz

Long-Term Support of the Ford Foundation and the Research on Monkeys

Approaching the Ford Foundation by selecting the study on monkeys as its main theme, CIEA succeeded to receive a generous ten-year grant in 1967 that totaled to US $100,000. In its second-term contract with the Ford Foundation that started from the autumn of 1972, CIEA planned to turn Japanese Monkeys into laboratory animals by constructing their colony away from humans and other animals. Selected as the proposed location was an unmanned island called Edateku, far off the Amami Oshima coast. This plan had to be cancelled abruptly, however, as the island became subject for tourism development, followed by another plan to build an oil refinery plant there.
Various voluntary research projects on small- to medium-sized monkeys were continued at CIEA even after the contract with the Ford Foundation ended in 1977. But costs of commodities and manpower were high in Japan, and production fees became astronomical. Hence, CIEAfs action to turn monkeys into an experimental animal stagnated until artificial breeding of crab-eating Macaques were commenced in 1988 on an unmanned island in Indonesia.