Under the deal RDDT – which operates a good laboratory practice compliant (CLG) preclinical toxicology testing laboratory at RMIT University’s Bundoora campus in Melbourne – will take a 20 per cent stake in vivoPharm. Further terms were not disclosed.
RDDT was formed in 2004 and has been looking for a buyer capable of attracting overseas business for some time according to Chairman Derek Young.
"After six years of development, RDDT is ready to move to the next level of pre-clinical toxicology safety testing," he said, adding that “we did exactly what we set out to accomplish - we developed a business that has caught the attention of an established, Australian-based but internationally-focused company."
vivoPharm appears to fit this buyer profile. The firm recently established a presence in the US through the formation of a partnership with Michigan preclinical services contract research organisation (CRO) MPI Research.
That deal was designed to combine vivoPharm portfolio of cell lines with MPI’s capabilities in molecular imaging. At the time Fernando Felquer, vivoPharma’s VP global commercial development, told Outsourcing-pharma.com that: “This partnership will bring in revenue which in effect opens up the US market for us.”
A month later vivoPharm opened a new vivarium in Pennsylvania, describing the unit as “sounding board for building new business engagements and maintaining strong relationships with existing clients in the US.”
In Europe vivoPharm operates an sales office in Munich, Germany and – in January - formed a partnership with German oncology testing company Experimental Pharmacology & Oncology (EPO).
vivoPharm relocates HQ
vivoPharm has also chosen to move its headquartered from Adelaide to Melbourne according to chairman Ian Nisbet who mentioned the move - as something of an aside - in his comments about the RDDT acquisition.
“Not only will we derive value from RDDT’s established business but relocating the company’s headquarters to Melbourne, with the largest concentration of biotechnology companies in Australia, places the company close to many of its existing and potential Australian customers.”
vivoPharm did not respond to Outsourcing-pharma.com’s request for additional comment.