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Betting on biosimulation: Certara acquired for $850m

Melissa Fassbender

By Melissa Fassbender

Last updated on 25-Jul-2017 at 18:14 GMT2017-07-25T18:14:14Z

Princeton, NJ-based Certara provides technology and consulting services to the biopharma industry. (Image: iStock/monsitj)
Princeton, NJ-based Certara provides technology and consulting services to the biopharma industry. (Image: iStock/monsitj)

EQT's acquisition of Certara is a bet on the continued convergence of healthcare and technology as the industry further adopts biosimulation to advance drug development.

The global private equity fund EQT VII is purchasing NJ-headquartered Certara from its previous owners, Arsenal Capital Partners, who will retain a minority ownership stake.

Eric Liu, partner at EQT Partners Inc, told us the company has spent the past three years evaluating investments in the outsourced pharma sector.

We like the sector because it is a way of investing behind a lot of the trends in the pharma industry without taking single-molecule risk. We target innovative companies that have developed technologies to help pharma clients address their key challenges,” he explained.

Specifically, Certara’s biosimulation capabilities enable pharma to make data-driven decision throughout the drug development process.

The company’s physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling and simulation platform , Simcyp, helps predict pharmacokinetic outcomes in virtual patient populations. It also provides a range of strategic planning services .

Ellen Leinfuss, senior VP at Certara previously told usmodeling and simulation has already had a profound effect on drug development, but its impact is increasing every day as we learn more about biological science and advance our quantitative capabilities to understand those data.”

A bet on biosimulation

Liu commented that while biosimulation is a niche market today,  it is expected to grow rapidly as pharma companies and regulators recognize the benefits of a technology-enabled approach to the drug development process.

We can help [Certara] with their growth strategies, including accelerated product development, further internationalization, and strategic acquisitions,” said Liu.

It is very beneficial to pharma clients for Certara to be backed by a firm with the financial resources to support the growth of the company and to augment the services they can provide,” he added.

Edmundo Muniz, MD, PhD and CEO of Certara said in the press release that the strategic partnership with EQT will enable the company to strengthen its core offerings and capitalize on next-phase growth opportunities.

Certara’s current management team will remain in place following the acquisition.

Certara is not providing any additional comment.

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