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Accelrys nabs VelQuest for $35 million, strengthens paperless offerings
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


SAN DIEGOŚAccelrys, Inc. has announced the acquisition of privately held VelQuest Corporation, a leader in paperless lab execution systems for industries such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals organizations, for $35 million in an all-cash transaction. All key members of VelQuest's management team have been retained, and Ken Rapp, VelQuest President and Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead Accelrys' undertakings in paperless analytical and quality operations within the life sciences vector.
"Joining forces with Accelrys is a real win for the many life sciences organizations we serve," said Rapp in a press release. "As part of a company of Accelrys' size and scale, we are in a better position to serve the data management needs of our customers. VelQuest will take advantage of an increased investment in product development and a customer support and deployment organization that is well suited to address the needs of large scale, global organizations. In addition, with Accelrys' broad market reach, the utilization of VelQuest's products beyond life sciences offers significant opportunities. Most importantly, the inherent synergies between Accelrys and VelQuest products and their critical roles in the development to commercialization phases of the pharmaceutical R&D process offer customers a comprehensive, single-source informatics offering along the entire lab-to-plant value chain."  
The acquisition expands Accelrys' portfolio into the downstream pharmaceutical development Quality Assurance and Quality Control space, as well as gaining it several products. VelQuest provides electronic lab notebook and LIMS software, such as its Procedure Execution Management products, which include SmartLab gmpELN, an electronic laboratory notebook system designed for paperless documentation of routine laboratory procedures; SmartBatch EBR, a procedure execution and electronic batch record software system that electronically documents execution of procedures or recipes; and SmartLab EM, an enterprise software application for paperless management of microbiological environmental monitoring sampling plans.  
The technology Accelrys gains in the acquisition complements the company's own existing systems, such as its Accelrys Pipeline Pilot, a scientific informatics platform that aggregates and provides access to stored data while automating analysis of that data, and Symyx Notebook, its multi-disciplinary electronic lab notebook for paperless workflow. Adding in VelQuest's systems will reduce the resources required for paperless analytical and quality operations, and some integration has already begun between VelQuest's and Accelrys' products.  
"With the acquisition of VelQuest, Accelrys continues to execute on its strategy of providing a broad, flexible solution set for customers that depend on scientific innovation to bring new products from lab to market more quickly and efficiently," Max Carnecchia, President and Chief Executive Officer of Accelrys, said in a press release. "VelQuest's strong products and proven domain expertise in compliance-intensive laboratory operations expand our ability to meet our life sciences customers' critical needs in late stage development, quality control and production."  
Accelrys expects the acquisition of VelQuest to be slightly dilutive to its non-GAAP net income per share for the full year 2012, and a detailed guidance for 2012 will be released along with the company's fourth quarter 2011 financial results.
Code: E01031201



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