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Sigma-Aldrich to offer start to finish bio-testing thanks to BioReliance takeover

By Natalie Morrison , 10-Jan-2012
Last updated on 10-Feb-2012 at 09:28 GMT

Sigma-Aldrich says it is a step closer to becoming a one-stop-shop for biopharmas in the drug discovery process after it inked a takeover agreement with biological testing firm BioReliance.

The deal – a $350m (€273m) deal with previous owners Avista Capital Partners – will add new capabilities in biologics testing, specialized toxicology and animal health testing for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical diagnostics to Sigma-Aldrich’s portfolio.

BioReliance president and CEO Charles Harwood said the acquisition “creates one of the broadest product and service offerings for the development and manufacture of biological drugs”.

The contract research organisation’s (CRO) marketing manager Susan Livingston, told Outsourcing-Pharma this will be the first time Sigma-Aldrich has been able to offer QA/QC (quality assurance, and quality testing) services from raw material to completed product.

She said: “I think it will be very beneficial to the industry. Sigma-Aldrich customers in industrial parts of the business are used to dealing with the firm for just their raw materials, and now they have access to services that compliment that.

“It will offer more of a one-stop-shop service to both our existing clients, mainly large pharmas and biotechs, as well as the many clients using Sigma-Aldrich’s services.”

Sigma-Aldrich currently develops, makes and distributes biochemical and organic chemical products and kits used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research.

Biologics are the name of the game

Through a renewed focus in biologic drug development, the BioReliance purchase a large factor in this strategy, Sigma-Aldrich now estimates a growth in earnings per share in 2012.

President and CEO of the firm, Rakesh Sachdev, said: “As the market continues its focus on biological drug development, our leadership in this area should enable us to build even better, more customer-specific solutions.

“We are excited to add BioReliance's capabilities and its talented employees to our Company and fully expect its addition to contribute to our long-term growth and return goals."

BioReliance pulled-in $110m in revenues in 2010, predicts higher revenues for its 2011 results. The company has laboratories in Rockville and Scotland, and offices in Japan and India. It employs more than 650 people.

Changes

Of changes made at BioReliance under the new deal, Livingston told us the company expects operations to remain largely the same.

As there is very little overlap between services, there is no real reason for change, she said.

She also said that Sigma-Aldrich’s life-sciences analytics company SAFC have “an understanding of our client base so the understand the quality needs of industrial manufacturers of bio-products.”

“Basically, this will extend the reach of SAFC. We fit hand-in-hand and will work mainly with SAFC,” she added.

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