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Corporate Overview

CIL History


Since its founding in 1981, CIL and its people have been committed to high-quality stable isotope-labeled products, superior customer service, innovative new products and a breadth of product lines. 

  • Business founded by Joel C. Bradley, PhD, MIT, to provide isotopically labeled research compounds and NMR solvents to the new and developing commercial market for stable isotope-labeled compounds.
  • Moves from Cambridge, MA, to larger laboratory space in Woburn, MA, to accommodate the expanding staff and laboratories.
  • Provides PCB and PCDF standards in response to transformer fires in Binghamton, NY, and San Francisco, CA, which emitted PCBs and PCDFs into the atmosphere.
  • Establishes international presence with first major sales representative in Europe.
  • Develops standards for EPA assessment of the contamination at Times Beach, MO, which was the “largest civilian exposure to dioxin in the US.”
  • Founds CIL Japan and established offices in Osaka and Tokyo.
  • Raises expansion capital in an initial public offering on the Securities market in the UK.
  • Construction begins on $3.2 million 13C-separation facility in Xenia, OH, the largest facility of its kind at the time.
  • Supplies standards for epidemiological study of long-term effects of dioxins found in Agent Orange.
  • Acquires the stable isotope division of ICN Biomedicals, a competitor in stable isotope research products.
  • Establishes the first field sales force in the industry in the US.
  • Invests in the first super-conducting FT/NMR spectrometer to match the quality assurance capabilities of our best customers.
  • Purchases a second super-conducting FT/NMR spectrometer.
  • First produced 13C PAH standards.
  • Acquires the assets of MSD Isotopes from Merck Frosst of Canada, a major competitor and the oldest stable isotope company in the industry.
  • Awarded 13C products to research community in the first CIL Research Grant Program to promote novel applications of 13C. 
  • Builds state-of-the-art laboratories at its new site in Andover, MA, to bring all laboratory operations under one roof and to provide space for expansion.
  • Implements cGMP programs.
  • Establishes biochemical synthesis facility in Canada.
  • Introduces first generation of cell growth media.
  • Constructs first 18O columns.
  • 13C urea manufactured to cGMP.
  • CIL catalog introduced as evidence in the OJ Simpson “Trial of the Century.”
  • Significant expansion of production capacity of 13C separation facility in Ohio to meet the growing demand, again the largest facility of its kind at the time.


  • Development of BioExpress®, second-generation cell growth media.
  • Corporate merger with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals to facilitate a joint development of certain medical diagnostic products. CIL continues operations with the same executives and key managers and with an independent Board of Directors.
  • Former Senator John Glenn infused with CIL amino acids for tracer studies during shuttle mission.
  • Develops 13C PBDE standards.
  • Construction begins on $6 million 18O separation facility in Xenia, OH, to meet the rapidly expanding needs of positron emission tomography (PET) and the metabolism research markets, again the largest in the world.
  • Synthesizes 13C-labeled cyclodiene pestides for CDC/NHANES exploring human pesticide exposure in families of agricultural workers.
  • Completes construction on 18O-separation facility, becoming world's largest manufacturer.
  • Acquired Euriso-Top SA, a French stable-isotope company.
  • Acquires Tracer Technologies' inventory of metabolic substrates.
  • Completes second expansion of 18O-separation facility, increasing production capacity to 250 kg.
  • Collaboration established with Protein Structure Factory (PSF).
  • CIL and Cerilliant collaborate on chemical weapon
    standards for Homeland Security after 9/11.
  • Introduces insect cell growth media.
  • Collaboration established with Silantes, for RNA/DNA products.
  • Provides dioxin standards for the forensic analysis on the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko, president of Ukraine.
  • Completes 15,000-square-foot expansion of QC, production and cGMP laboratories.
  • Establishes Otsuka, Japanese-based sales group.
  • Increases cGMP API manufacturing.
  • Acquires nuclear medicine chemical manufacturer Advanced Biochemical Compounds (ABX) of Dresden, Germany.
  • Introduced mammalian cell growth media.
  • Becomes sponsors of triennial ISMAR prize.
  • Collaboration established with Cassia, LLC founded by Dr. Jamie Williamson, for RNA/DNA products.
  • Begins distribution of NMR tubes for NORELL.
  • Acquires M-fold Biotech GmbH.
  • Announces collaborative venture with Membrane Receptor Technologies, LLC (MRT).
  • CIL and CellFree Sciences (CFS) announce distribution agreement.
  • Acquires Spectra Stable Isotopes (SSI).
  • CIL develops environmental standard for the Gulf Oil Crisis.
  • CIL expands the 18O production capacity by almost 100 kg/year in Xenia, OH.


  • CIL expands the 18O facility in Xenia, OH, bringing the production capacity up to more than 420 kg of 18O per year.
  • CIL begins construction of a new 13C separation system in Xenia, OH. This system is expected to be completed in the summer of 2014 and will increase capacity to more than 420 kg of 13C capacity per year.
  • CIL constructs the only large-capacity nongovernmental D2O enrichment columns in the world located at its CIS facility. 
  • Moves corporate headquarters to Tewksbury, MA.
  • Builds new state-of-the-art cGMP facility.
  • C2N Diagnostics announces Collaborative Research and Global Exclusive Supplier Agreement with CIL.


  • CIL announces an exclusive worldwide commercial supply agreement with Nexomics Biosciences, a structural biology and protein production contract research organization, to provide isotope-labeled proteins to life science research organizations.


  • CIL and MRM Proteomics Inc., a leading supplier of kits and services for quantitative proteomics, announces an exclusive worldwide commercial supply agreement. 
  • CIL begins working with IROA Technologies LLC to develop and distribute IROA® Biochemical Quantitation Kits.
  • Cliff Caldwell is appointed as new CEO of CIL.
  • CIL increases 13C production by 25% at its Ohio plant.
  • Benzene and bromobenzene capacities are increased by six times the current capacity.
  • CIL celebrates its 40th anniversary.


History | Cambridge Isotope Laboratories
stable isotope, stable isotopes, isotope labeling, isotopically labeled research compounds, NMR Solvents, stable isotope-labeled compounds, PCB, PCDF standards, 13C Separation facility, standards, dioxins, ICN Biomedicals, stable isotope research products, 13C PAH standards, Research Grant Program, Travel Award, biochemical synthesis facility, cell growth media, SILAC Amino Acids, protein standards, SILAC, NMR Tubes, Nucleic Acid Synthesis, Cell-Free Synthesis, alpha keto acids, deuteratred compounds, biomolecular nor, Hyperpolarization, Protein Reagents, Quantitative Proteomics, Nuclear medicine, foot testing, membrane proteins, Protein Expression, Peptide Synthesis
Since its founding in 1981, CIL and its people have been committed to high quality stable isotope labeled products, superior customer service, innovative new products and a breadth of product lines.