Top CRO and CMO M&A activity of 2017

By Top CRO and CMO M&A activity of 2017

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: iStock/macgverhh)
(Image: iStock/macgverhh)

Related tags: Private equity firm, Mergers and acquisitions, Contract research organization

Every week, another merger or acquisition (or so it seemed) as the industry continued to consolidate in 2017.

Take a look back at some of the deals made in 2017: 

inVentiv and INC Research

The INC Research, inVentiv Health mega-merger​ was announced in May of this year. The deal created one of the largest biopharmaceutical outsourcing providers, and “a top three CRO,​” INC Research CEO Alistair Macdonald told us at the time.

Macdonald said the merger gives the companies the ability to deliver different models – including full service, hybrid, and FSP – to any size company in any country.

LabCorp and Chiltern

LabCorp acquired Chiltern in July for $1.2bn​ to create a global contract research organization with more than 20,000 employees.

As part of LabCorp’s Covance segment, the CRO expands its presence globally.

The deal followed months after Chilterns purchase of the Japanese CRO Integrated Development Associates Co. Ltd. (IDA) in a move that CEO Jim Esinhart told us​ would enable it to grow in the APAC region.

At the beginning of 2017, LabCorp acquired assets​ of Mount Sinai’s Clinical Outreach Laboratories, adding seven patient service centers to its network.

The company also completed its acquisition​ of Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories (PAML) in May.

Parexel and Private Equity

Parexel was acquired​ by the private equity firm Pamplona Capital Management in a deal valued at approximately $5bn.

The acquisition was announced in June​.

Prior to this, the CRO purchased The Medical Affairs Company (TMAC)​ as it looked to strengthen its commercialization and medical affairs services.

Icon and the Mapi Group

Icon expanded tis commercialized offerings this year​ through its acquisition of the Mapi Group, a real-world evidence, strategic regulatory services, and pharmacovigilance provider.

The Mapi Group also provides market access and language services to support commercialization.

Icon CEO Steve Cutler told us at the time​ that the company would continue to grow both organically and through its M&A strategy, which focuses on improving its market position in key segments.

Cutler said he expects the CRO to continue to grow as more customer turn to outsourcing.

PRA Health Sciences and Symphony Health Solutions

PRA purchased Symphony Health​ – which provides data, analytics, and technology solutions – for $530m in August.

PRA CEO Colin Shannon said the deal would provide the CRO with “rich data insights that will allow us to customize our clinical studies to be as unique as the patients who they are designed around​.”

Charles River Laboratories and Brains On-Line

The preclinical service provider acquired Brains On-Line​, a CRO with sites in San Francisco, The Netherlands, and Germany, for approximately $21m in August.

Brains On-Line provides microdialysis for central nervous system (CNS) research and in vivo efficacy as well as pharmacokinetics testing.

Jim Foster, chairman, president, and CEO of Charles River said the purchase was​ “a strategic acquisition that enhances our ability to support client’s early-stage drug research in this critical therapeutic area [CNS]​.”

Concept Life Sciences and Aquila BioMedical

The drug discovery, development, and analytical services company announced its acquisition of the Edinburgh, Scotland-based preclinical CRO in October​.

Concept Life Sciences Executive Chairman Michael Fort told us at the time that the move would enable Concept “to articulate a deeper therapy expertise to the whole group now, particularly in immune-oncology, inflammation, and CNS​.”

The CMOs

Thermo Fisher and Patheon

Also of significant note this year is Thermo Fisher’s purchase of Patheon for $7.2bn.

The multinational biotechnology product development company announced its intent to purchase the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO)​ in May.

Thermo Fisher raised approximately $1.5bn to fund the acquisition​, which was completed in August.

Former Patheon President Michel Lagarde transitioned to president of Thermo Fisher’s pharmaceutical services​.

AMRI and Private Equity

Private equity invested significantly​ in the outsourcing sector in 2017, as exemplified by AMRI's acquisition by The Carlyle Group and affiliates of GTCR in June​.

The asset manager and private equity firm acquired the CDMO in a deal worth $21.75 per share.

AMRI President and CEO William Marth told us at the time that the investment would enable the company to “go further, faster​.”

Catalent and Cook Pharmica

The delivery technologies and development solutions provider acquired Cook Pharmica for $950m​ in September.

The deal was designed to expand Catalent’s biologics, cell culture manufacturing, and packaging capabilities.

In the month following, CEO and chairman, John Chiminski reported the company’s FY17 financial results​, which he said exceeded expectations.

Looking to 2018, Chiminski also said​ that the company’s philosophy on M&A won’t change. “We continue to look for acquisitions that enhance our technical differentiation and value to customers​,” he said.

Related topics: Markets & Regulations

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