Icon pushes further into scientific comms, market access with $120m buy

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

The acquisition will help expand Icon's market research and scientific communications services.
The acquisition will help expand Icon's market research and scientific communications services.
Public CRO Icon ($ICLR) has agreed to acquire scientific communications and market access firm MediMedia Pharma Solutions for $120m (€106m) in cash.

Yardley, Pennsylvania-based MediMedia Pharma Solutions is a division of MediMedia USA, owned by Vestar Capital Partners, and includes MediMedia Managed Markets and Complete Healthcare Communications. MediMedia Managed Markets provides strategic payer-validated market access solutions while Complete Healthcare Communications works with medical affairs, commercial and brand development teams within life science companies. The company has supported hundreds of development launches and in-market products, spanning over 40 therapeutic classes.

Steve Cutler, COO of Icon, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that MediMedia has approximately 245 employees who will transition to Icon when the deal closes. The expected acquisition comes nearly a week since Icon said it would add another 200 jobs in Ireland​. 

Icon is seeing an increase in demand from customers right across the peri-approval and commercial services segment of the market​,” Cutler added. “The push towards the assessment of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness of new drugs by authorities world-wide has been a driver of this demand as has the need to demonstrate efficacy and safety in a more real world environment away from the homogeneous and pure setting of a randomised clinical trial​.”  

He also noted increased interest “across the spectrum of our customer base from large and mid-size pharma to smaller biotechs who are all looking to ensure that they plan for the collection of key pricing and market access data early on in their clinical programs​.” 

Market research data and information Icon obtained has shown the late phase and commercialisation service market growing at around 10% annually, and this acquisition positions Icon “well as one of the pre-eminent service providers​” in the market, Cutler said. 

Offering clients a communications and publications strategy is a new service line for Icon,”​ Cutler added and it allows Icon to work with new groups within its current clientele, such as medical affairs and brand and payer marketing teams. 

We can now take the evidence of product value generated from our peri-approval and HEOR [health economics and outcomes research] studies, and implement a communications and publications strategy to disseminate this evidence to these new stakeholders within our customers​,” he said. 

Tim Search, President of MediMedia Pharma Solutions, added, “The combination of the commercial, scientific, and market access expertise of MediMedia Pharma Solutions and Icon creates an unparalleled offering that can inform product investment decisions and establish and communicate product value. With the shift to evidence-based medicine and value-based pricing, we are excited about the expanded expertise and capabilities our relationship with Icon brings to our combined customers​.” 

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