The Veeda deal adds biomarker analysis and development capacity to Icon’s offering which, the firm hopes, will help it attract development work from sponsors keen to make no/go development decisions a the earliest possible stage.
John Chapel, who headed Veeda Laboratories’ Oxford facility, told Outsourcing-pharma, that the timing for the move was straightforward: “Veeda wanted to sell and Icon wanted to buy,” he said.
Veeda Labs provides specialist laboratory services to many of the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology drugmakers. Icon already has a UK research centre at Manchester, and the firm acquired Prevalere Life Sciences, a USA-based bioanalytical and immunoassay laboratory, in November 2008.
Thomas Frey, President, Icon Development Solutions, highlighted Veeda’s “very strong reputation for biomarker development” and “well-established relationships with top-tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.”
He went on to say that the new unit’s research team will “greatly enhance Icon’s existing team of biomarker experts.”
A call to the Oxford site confirmed that the deal has been completed, although some details of how the new site will fit into Icon’s management structure have not been announced.
Use of biomarker analysis by drug developers has increased considerably in recent years. The technique provides a way of assessing the impact of a particular drug or candidate on a disease state via analysis of pre-characterised markers.
This approach allows no/go development decisions to be taken at an early stage, helping researchers identify promising projects and, perhaps more crucially, halt the development of ineffectual drugs at the earliest possible stage.