HYDERABAD, India—In a move that will enable it to offer good laboratory practice (GLP) toxicology services for pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, nutraceuticals and cosmetics, GVK Biosciences (GVK BIO)—one of the leading discovery research and development organizations in Asia—announced Nov. 6 the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Vanta Bioscience, a full-service preclinical GLP toxicology and safety assessment contract research organization operating out of Chennai, India.
The price for the acquisition was not publicly disclosed.
Complying with OECD GLP, ISO and U.S. Food and Drug Administration GLP (21 CFR Part 58 rev. 2009) regulatory guidelines, Vanta offers toxicology evaluation services for the pharmaceutical, biotech, food supplements and feed additives industries. It also offers toxicology services using alternative methods for the cosmetics industry.
GVK BIO calls Vanta’s facility “state-of-the-art” and notes it is GLP- and AAALAC-accredited, “armed with high-end equipment and has infrastructure like individually ventilated cages and intelligent building management systems.” The facility houses GLP-trained scientific personnel with experience and expertise in study design and execution of regulatory directed studies leading to IND filings.
“The acquisition is in line with our business strategy of being an integrated drug discovery services provider for our customers,” said Manni Kantipudi, CEO of GVK BIO. “We are constantly investing in upgrading our capabilities to provide world-class R&D services. Vanta Bioscience further advances our position as we expand our service offering in GLP toxicology.”
In turn, Gerard Schwickerath, vice president and general manager of Vanta Bioscience, said the Vanta Bioscience team “is pleased that the world-class research GLP- and AAALAC-accredited organization will continue under the direction of GVK BIO. We are delighted to transition into an organization that can expand our offerings and provide further opportunities to our clients and staff.”
GVK BIO is a partnership between the GVK Group and D.S. Brar, who is known for his long association with Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. For most of his more than three decades in the pharmaceutical industry—from 1977 to 2004—Brar was with Ranbaxy, India's largest pharmaceutical company, where he rose to the level of president in 1993 and became CEO and managing director in 1999. He left to fill his current chairman position at GVK BIO in 2004.
GVK BIO is a contract research organization (CRO) that provides a broad spectrum of services across the research and development and manufacturing value chain with what it calls “a focus on speed and quality.” GVK BIO capabilities include discovery services, clinical development, contract manufacturing, formulations and informatics.
In other 2014 news of GVK BIO expansion, the company signed a deal in January to acquire Aragen Bioscience Inc., a privately held U.S.-based preclinical CRO specializing in high-value biologics services, helping to better position GVK BIO as a major provider of integrated research and development services across both large- and small-molecule platforms.