Coming together in contract services

A roundup of mergers and alliance deals in the contract services and pharma consulting spaces

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Around the globe, mergers and alliance deals for contract services/consulting space have been on the rise for a decade, changing the face of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry with its increasing reliance on outsourcing for drug discovery capabilities, stocking pipelines, expanding geographic footprints—and saving money.
As the first quarter 2018 draws near to a close, here are 10 companies that have forged five different deals recently.
Proteomics and CPR Pharma Services launch strategic alliance
Targeting new diagnostic tests and improved drug development, medtech pioneer Proteomics International, based in Perth, Australia, announced Feb. 12 the launch of a strategic alliance and investment with Adelaide, Australia-based CPR Pharma Services, for the high-growth area of clinical trials and related research. The transaction was due to be completed on March 5.
Under the terms of the deal, Proteomics International was to acquire 10 percent of CPR’s share capital in exchange for four million of its shares.
“This alliance with CPR Pharma Services presents a fantastic opportunity to expand our diagnostics portfolio and increase revenues substantially,” said Dr. Richard Lipscombe, Proteomics International managing director. “We see this alliance as adding significant new value to our already successful Promarker technology.”
The alliance will offer project management, certified bio-analysis, trial monitoring, data management and bio-statistical services, analytical platforms of mass spectrometry and immunoassay for small and large molecules, sample storage and stability testing—as well as the development of new methods and diagnostic tests.
As a contract research organization (CRO), CPR Pharma has a close relationship with Phase 1 clinical trial sites across Australia, biotech and small to mid-sized pharmas.
Two Labs and a life-sciences consulting firm
Meanwhile, in the United States, Columbus, Ohio-based Two Labs, a pharma and life-sciences services company, announced Feb. 8 its acquisition of MKO Global Partners, a strategic global life-sciences consulting firm focused on payer strategy, market access and pricing in the pharmaceutical and biotech markets.
Two Labs delivers innovative trade and commercialization services to pharmaceutical manufacturers, while MKO integrates new capabilities in pricing and market access strategy.
“The pharmaceutical industry relies on Two Labs to provide commercialization support services so that they can focus on developing new and innovative therapies that enhance patients’ lives,” according to Rich Wartel, CEO of Two Labs. “The union of Two Labs’ and MKO’s pharma services expands our total solution suite through the addition of a highly regarded market access solutions provider. For both organizations, culture matters as much as our solutions. As a result, our clients view us as a strategic partner and an extended part of their team—not as a vendor.”
Steve O’Malley, a partner at MKO Global Partners, said, “MKO has enjoyed a 15-year relationship with Two Labs, and we are thrilled to be joining the Two Labs family.”
“Each organization views the other as the logical extension toward the total solutions suite for market access, and we believe our clients will be thrilled with the capabilities we will be able to provide through our new partnership,” O’Malley continued. “Our clients frequently ask us to provide the additional services that Two Labs offers, just as Two Labs clients frequently ask them to provide the additional services that we offer.”
OmniComm takes on Algorics’ Acuity
On Feb. 1, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based OmniComm Systems Inc. completed the asset acquisition of Houston-based Algorics, a provider of clinical analytics solutions and software, bringing the Acuity platform into its fold.
This acquisition significantly enhances OmniComm’s product portfolio with advanced data analytics capabilities, specialized algorithms and artificial intelligence/machine learning.
“This is definitely a very good acquisition for both OmniComm and Algorics,” said Nithiya Ananthakrishnan, founder of Algorics. “By joining with OmniComm, we will accelerate our goal of becoming the best-in-class solution for risk-based monitoring and clinical data analytics.
“We look forward to bringing additional competitive advantages to OmniComm’s customers by delivering end-to-end RBM solutions and specialized data analytics expertise,” he adds.
“Adding this RBM and analytics platform to our existing product lines fills a strong need for our clients,” said Stephen Johnson, OmniComm’s president and CEO. “Due to a common technology stack, the Acuity platform perfectly integrates with our TrialMaster and TrialOne solutions.”
Certara acquires Germany’s BaseCase
Princeton, N.J.-based Certara, a global leader in model-informed drug development and regulatory science, announced Feb. 1 that it had acquired BaseCase Management GmbH, a data visualization software-as-a-service company headquartered in Berlin that also has offices in New York. The acquisition is expected to add strong visualization and communications capabilities across Certara’s data science decision-support value chain.
BaseCase, which will join Certara’s Strategic Consulting Services division, will bring extensive health economics and outcomes research expertise, and is working in the area of market access.
As a key element in Certara’s data science portfolio, BaseCase technology will soon be leveraged across the company’s industry-leading pharmacometrics, mechanistic modeling and regulatory science platforms.
Certara’s solutions span drug discovery through patient care, its technology increasing the probability of regulatory and commercial success. BaseCase’s interactive platform improves communication to C-suite executives, physicians, healthcare providers, payers and health authorities.
“We are delighted that BaseCase is joining Certara and we are looking forward to expanding the applications for its user-friendly, mobile communications technology,” said Thomas Kerbusch, president of Certara Strategic Consulting Services.
“BaseCase simplifies communication of complex data and models,” Kerbusch added. “BaseCase’s interactive platform will enable pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to visualize model results and large, real-world datasets to make sound decisions quickly.”
BaseCase Chief Technology Officer Diarmuid Glynn remarked that, “Certara’s extensive software development capability and deep expertise in model-informed drug development will enable us to further accelerate BaseCase’s evolution and growth in this expanding market space. We have already identified several expansion projects that will result from the merger.”
Crown Bioscience joins Japan’s JSR Corporation
Tokyo-based JSR Life Sciences announced Dec. 20, 2017 the purchase of CRO Crown Bioscience International, a global drug discovery and development services company providing translational platforms to advanced oncology, inflammation, cardiovascular and metabolic disease research—at a cost of approximately $400 million.
This acquisition marks JSR’s largest life sciences-focused investment to date, extending the company’s portfolio to include contract research and development capabilities.
As a premier CRO, CrownBio has industry relationships and a global footprint to complement JSR’s global presence. Upon completion of the acquisition, JSR Life Sciences expects to benefit from integrated capabilities that include research, drug discovery, diagnostics development, cell line development and process development and GMP manufacturing.
The strategic merger integrates Crown Bioscience’s leading translational technology platform, which provides drug target validation, efficacy testing and patient response characterization, with JSR’s in-vitro diagnostic solutions, GMP manufacturing capabilities and worldwide distribution networks.
“We are excited to join the JSR family of companies through this innovation-driven strategic partnership,” says Dr. Jean-Pierre Wery, CEO of Crown Bioscience. “Crown Bioscience’s core competencies in preclinical and translational research combined with JSR’s global footprint, diagnostic solutions and manufacturing capabilities will provide a fully integrated solution to help biopharmaceutical companies get drugs and diagnostics to market more efficiently.”
The completion of the merger is expected to close before the end of the second quarter of 2018.

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