Nearly 100 employees from InVentiv will be integrated into Knipper’s work force, along with the business systems, Michael Laferrera, president and COO of Knipper told Outsourcing-Pharma.com. “We’ve worked with InVentiv for a number of years and this acquisition allows us to build on that collaboration,” Laferrera said.
The acquisition of InVentiv’s sample management business is the second purchase Knipper’s made since 2011, when it acquired Pharmagistics. Laferrera said the company is on the lookout for more acquisitions once InVentiv’s business is fully incorporated with Knipper’s. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Edgemont Capital Partners advised Knipper on the acquisition.
“The sampling industry is the most multi-dimensional it has ever been,” Laferrera said. As the number of pharmaceutical sales representatives decreases and the difficulty of getting samples into the hands of doctors grows, it would take a large pharmaceutical company “years to get where we’re at now” if they tried to distribute samples themselves.
“It’s a much tougher business to do internally,” he added. It can be difficult for companies to dabble in because of the complexity of the distribution routes and the regulations dictating “how it needs to be done.”
The difficulty in sample management is ensuring that “the samples aren’t misused or diverted in any way,” Laferrera explained, noting the importance of accountability when transporting the samples from the manufacturer to the physician either via the sales representative or direct order.
The growth of personalized medicine, niche biologics and other cold-chain drugs could also intensify demand for clinical sample management because their subtle effects can be lost through degradation if samples are mishandled are delayed in transport.
“We handle all of the logistics of sample management,” from managing the inventories, warehousing and processing the orders from the doctors, Laferrera said.
Paul Mignon, president of inVentiv Health Selling Solutions, added that Knipper’s “greater scale in the areas of sample accountability and fulfillment” will enhance the services for inVentiv customers while Knipper will leverage inVentiv's “best-in-class tele-detailing capabilities.”