Concept acquires preclinical CRO following search to add translational biology capabilities

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

Aquila site at Edinburgh BioQuarter. (Image: Concept Life Sciences)
Aquila site at Edinburgh BioQuarter. (Image: Concept Life Sciences)

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Concept Life Sciences has acquired Aquila BioMedical, citing the CRO’s specific skill set, which will allow the company to provide services in areas “not previously accessible,” says executive chairman.

The drug discovery, development and analytical services company announced its acquisition of the Edinburgh, Scotland-based preclinical contract research organization (CRO) today, October 30, 2017.

We have been looking for some time for a business to bring significant translational biology capabilities into the Concept fold in order to complement our existing medicinal chemistry and biology services​,” Michael Fort, executive chairman of Concept Life Sciences told

Fort said the acquisition of Aquila brings this, and more, noting the CRO’s experience in immunotherapy research, which he said allows Concept “to articulate a deeper therapy expertise to the whole group now, particularly in immuno-oncology, inflammation, and CNS​.”

Additionally, Fort said Aquila’s base in the Scottish bio quarter “dovetails well​” with its existing facilities.

“[Aquila’s] specific skill set and therapy reach will allow us to service our existing client base in areas not previously accessible,” ​he explained, adding that the company has increasingly seen a demand for these types of services as it has widened its service offerings over the last three years.

Large molecule research has been outwith our reach until now – we can now engage with our clients about specific large molecule programs and complex translational biology research that hitherto we could only consider by partnering or outsourcing​,” he said.

In September the company announced a 30% increase in capacity​ at its Alderley-Park facility driven by a growth of more than 30% in the last 12 months. The company also launched a US group in June 2016​.

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