40+ Years of Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Safety and Efficacy Testing

Toxikon began in 1977 as Cambridge Diagnostics.

Toxikon employs hundreds of scientific researchers, associates, laboratory support staff, and others to support life science product development and testing requirements. We work globally across the biotechnology sector with over 1,000 active medical device, pharmaceutical, and biologic companies and their suppliers, in over 60 countries.


Toxikon: What’s in a Name?

The word toxikon is as old as Greek civilization – it means “a poison in which arrows are dipped.” The tales of Heracles and Odysseus feature the heroes’ poison arrows being critical to their success in battle.

The Greek term toxikon became the Latin word toxicum, which became the French word toxique; it was combined with the Greek logia, for “the study of” to form toxicologie, or toxicology – the study of the nature, effects, and detection of poisons, and the treatment of poisoning.

Today, the study of toxicology, toxicological testing, and assessing the toxicological risk of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and other biotechnologies offers product developers, prescribers, and patients confidence that these life-altering therapies will work as intended with minimal adverse effects.

The meaning behind Toxikon’s moniker is as deliberate as our mission: to provide sound science related to the safety, dosing, and efficacy of medical products with the precision and speed of a heroic archer —from pre-market safety through post-market surveillance.


A Strong Foundation in Cambridge and Boston

Toxikon was born from the heart of the northeast’s life science sector, the scientific hub of Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts.

Toxikon was founded as Cambridge Diagnostics in 1977 by Dr. Laxman Desai, president and chief executive officer. Cambridge Diagnostics was reincorporated as Toxikon in 1982. Before establishing Toxikon, Dr. Desai managed oncology drug research programs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. It was through his expertise and experiences there that Dr. Desai saw the opportunity for a high-quality GLP toxicology testing laboratory to serve the needs of life science companies in New England and beyond.


Acquisitions and Organic Growth

Throughout its history, Toxikon has evolved to meet the challenges of the dynamic life science industry.

Toxikon acquired American Biogenics, Inc., of Woburn, Massachusetts in 1987. American Biogenics was part of DHS’ National Toxicology Program; this acquisition allowed Toxikon to expand its toxicology and analytical capabilities.

In 1995, Toxikon relocated to its current location in Bedford, Massachusetts, originally in an 80,000-square-foot facility that allowed the contract research organization to further expand its testing services dedicated to research and development, GLP, and GMP projects.

Toxikon expanded the Bedford campus in 2005 with the purchase of an adjacent facility directly next door to its Bedford headquarters, adding more than 45,000 square feet of additional laboratory space for large animal models and additional instrumentation for bioanalytical support services.


What’s Next?

Building on over 40 years of testing expertise, Toxikon will increase our ongoing investment in high-quality testing and consulting services. Our focus remains on developing our core services of biocompatibility testing, extractable and leachable analysis, and analytical chemistry services, while aggressively staying on the forefront of research and regulation. We will continue to deliver innovative facilities, methods, and capabilities, and provide our sponsors the most comprehensive suite of life science product development, testing and follow-on support services available in the market.

Toxikon History
preclinical contract research, contract research organization, CRO, safety testing, efficacy testing, medical device testing, pharmaceutical testing
Founded as Cambridge Diagnostics in 1977 by Dr. Laxman Desai, Toxikon was born from the heart of the northeast’s life science sector, the scientific hub of Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts.