SGS boosts biologics testing capacity with M-Scan acquisition

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SGS Life Sciences has bought UK contract chemical analysis firm M-Scan, boosting its mass spec and chromatography offering.

The deal adds four European analysis laboratories and sales offices in the US, Korea, India and Singapore to SGS’ global network and fits with the Swiss firm’s expansion strategy for the contract biologics testing​ sector.

Speaking to Outsourcing-pharma at the firm’s “Biotech Day” in Belgium last month, SGS predicted that demand for biologics testing in Asia will increase in the next few years as the manufacturing sector continues to develop.

SGS also forecast that, while at present much of the analysis work required in Asia is carried out in Europe, local provision of contract biologics testing is increasing with companies like Shang Pharma and Wuxi leading the way.

Quite what impact a small player like M-Scan, which employs 61 people and generated revenue of just $11m (€8m) in 2009, will have on SGS’s growth in biologics testing remains to be seen.

However, the acquisition may be just the first of a number the Swiss group plans over the next few years given that, as yet, it has not outlined plans to invest in new analysis facilities as part of its efforts to grow in biologics testing.

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