Illinois Tech Incubator Startup SAMDI Tech Acquired by Charles River

Now a leader in innovative solutions to drug discovery, SAMDI Tech began at Illinois Tech’s University Technology Park incubator more than a decade ago


SAMDI Tech logo

CHICAGO—March 9, 2023—SAMDI Tech, Inc., a leading provider of high-quality, label-free high-throughput screening (HTS) solutions for drug discovery research, has announced that it has been acquired by Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL). The acquisition comes after more than a decade of growth that’s been facilitated by SAMDI Tech’s tenancy in Illinois Institute of Technology’s University Technology Park (UTP) incubator.

SAMDI Tech was founded by Dr. Milan Mrksich, Dr. Carmichael Roberts, and Michael Scholle in 2011, where it offers its proprietary mass spectrometry technology on a fee-for-service basis.  Today, the company leads the industry with an innovative approach to drug discovery. SAMDI Tech started with a bootstrapped model by combining early adopters of the technology and a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. Thanks, in part, to its partnership with UTP’s incubator, SAMDI Tech has been able to grow the business organically for 11 years without venture capital funding. 

“SAMDI Tech is a great success story and is emblematic of UTP’s mission,” says UTP Director Joshua H. Siegel. “Offering competitive rents for lab space in the heart of Chicago allows young companies to focus on innovation, growth, and collaboration. Flexible lease terms, plug-and-play lab facilities, connections with the Illinois Tech and Chicago innovation ecosystems, and an ability to help each UTP company expand at a pace that aligns with its specific industry and technology fosters an environment that drives organic growth.”

SAMDI Tech grew steadily in the UTP incubator. It started in just one wet lab, and today it occupies more than 4,000 rentable square feet, with access to many common facilities including board and meeting rooms as well as shared equipment that the incubator offers.

“At SAMDI Tech, we see University Technology Park as a key partner,” says Scholle, co-founder and chief operating officer. “Our relationship goes beyond landlord-tenant—UTP has facilitated our growth and assisted our company along its journey, and SAMDI Tech has in turn helped grow the UTP incubator and cultivate a culture of innovation and cooperation. As a company, SAMDI Tech would not be where it is today without our close relationship with Illinois Tech and University Technology Park.”

SAMDI Tech has also been able to take advantage of access to the talented Illinois Tech student pool to hire as employees and interns. One Illinois Tech graduate was hired less than a year ago and has already been promoted from research assistant to research associate.  This speaks to the quality of scientific candidates from the Illinois Tech graduate pool.

“Illinois Tech students have been an exceptional resource at SAMDI Tech,” says Scholle. “In addition to having the technical skills needed to thrive, Illinois Tech students have approached their work with a sense of curiosity and passion that has greatly benefited our projects and initiatives.”

Charles River Laboratories’ acquisition of SAMDI Tech, which was announced January 30, 2023, is the culmination of a partnership that began in 2018.  You can read more about the acquisition in the Charles River press release:

Illinois Institute of Technology

Based in the global metropolis of Chicago, Illinois Tech was born to liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all. It is the only tech-focused university in the city, and it stands at the crossroads of exploration and invention, advancing the future of Chicago and the world. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, computing, architecture, business, design, science and human sciences, and law. Illinois Tech students are guaranteed hands-on experiences, personalized mentorship, and job readiness through the university's one-of-a-kind Elevate program. Its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Its faculty and alumni built the Chicago skyline. And every day in the living lab of the city, Illinois Tech fuels breakthroughs that change lives. Visit

University Technology Park

University Technology Park at Illinois Tech fosters the innovation that fuels Chicago's economy and promotes positive change in the world. UTP provides  wet and dry labs and office space for growing companies focused on materials and life sciences, biomedical engineering, medical devices and diagnostics, green and clean technology, food safety, information technology, and many other fields. UTP's location at Illinois Tech—Chicago's only tech-focused university—places our companies at the center of innovation and discovery. 

Media contacts

Petra Kelly
Communications Director
Illinois Institute of Technology
Cell: 773-771-1064 

Kevin Dollear
Communications Manager
Illinois Institute of Technology
Cell: 773-860-5712