Ardena expands offerings

With acquisition of ABL, analytics and drug discovery capacity increases

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GHENT, Belgium—Following its very recent launch via a merger, new early-phase contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Ardena has already increased its existing capacity with the recent acquisition of Analytical Biochemical Laboratory (ABL). As the company noted in announcing this, adding ABL to the Ardena Group lends bioanalytical and drug discovery services that complement the initial service offerings.
Ardena was launched this fall following the merger of Belgian company Pharmavize and Netherlands-based Crystallics. The new company will now offer particular expertise in bioavailability enhancement and modified drug release and takes a dossier-centric approach to drug development. In adding the capacity offered by ABL, Ardena increases its utility to customers in helping with early-stage drug development across all phases.
With the addition of ABL, the Ardena Group now employs 125 scientists and boasts three facilities in Europe: Amsterdam (the former Crystallics facility) and Assen (the former ABL facility) in the Netherlands, plus the company’s headquarters in Ghent, Belgium, that once housed Pharmavize.
Commenting on the announcement, Ardena CEO Harry Christiaens said: “Our focus is to help customers navigate the hurdles of drug development, and in order to do this effectively, we need to deliver a broad and integrated service offering spanning drug discovery, preclinical, CMC [chemistry, manufacturing and controls] and clinical services.”
Following the initial merger, Christiaens was excited for the expertise Ardena could offer. “Drug developers need clinical materials on time in order to generate valuable clinical data and reach their next milestone, yet many face formulation challenges or lack the in-house infrastructure or regulatory knowledge required. With product and dossier developed together, quality and regulatory compliance can be ensured from the start of a project. With drug developers under increasing time and cost pressures, [we can help] to streamline the drug’s progress to clinic and eventually to commercial production. Quite simply, our focus is to create strong formulations and regulatory-compliant drug products for clients planning early-phase clinical trials.”
In acquiring ABL, Ardena adds to their specialist capabilities, making them a drug discovery partner for companies of all sizes. Founded in 1969, ABL specializes in the analysis of endogenous (biomarkers) and exogenous compounds (drugs) in biological matrices derived from humans and animals. The company is active in all phases of drug development, including discovery, preclinical and clinical trials from Phases 1-4.
“The acquisition of ABL was a strategic decision to further our goal to become a one-source contract partner for early-phase development,” says Christiaens. “With ABL’s expertise, we can now support sponsors with bioanalytical and drug discovery services to help them reach important preclinical and clinical milestones. These specialist capabilities complement our existing services, which include solid-state chemistry, analytical and formulation development and early-phase clinical supply manufacturing.”
Ep Oosting, managing director of ABL, added: “ABL has grown significantly since I first joined the company more than 25 years ago, and it’s exciting to be part of the next stage in its evolution. We’re looking forward to combining our expertise with that of the Ardena team to be able to offer our customers a more diverse and complete range of preclinical and early-phase drug development services. Moreover, we will continue offering and even expand our standalone bioanalytical services for the pharmaceutical industry to assist customers that require a more specific service.”

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