JSR Corporation announced its acquisition of the global contract research organization (CRO) Crown Bioscience International (CrownBio) for 12 Billion New Taiwan Dollar ($405,720,000) late last month.
The acquisition is JSR’s largest life sciences-focused investment and extends its portfolio to include contract research and development capabilities, according to the Tokyo, Japan-headquartered company.
“After successfully integrating MBL, KBI and Selexis we turned our attention to what we saw as a major opportunity in preclinical support for biopharma,” Eric R. Johnson, president of JSR’s Life Sciences Division told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.
JSR Life Sciences announced its agreement to acquire the cell line developer Selexis in June 2017. It acquired KBI Biopharma in 2015 and the company’s US-based subsidiary JSR Micro, Inc. purchased MBL International Corporation in April 2016.
“Our priority was to find a CRO with the right scientific focus to continue our push to provide high value, innovative solutions,” said Johnson on the CrownBio deal.
JSR was also looking for a company of the right scale, and one that was already demonstrating strong financial performance, he said.
“Most importantly, the company needed to have excellent people who fit in well with our corporate culture. We wanted scientifically deep, passionate, curious people,” added Johnson, noting that CrownBio was an “excellent fit” for all measures.
Moving forward, CrownBio will continue to operate per usual as a wholly owned subsidiary of JSR.
Johnson explained the company plans on using CrownBio’s market access and expertise to help guide the direction of JSR’s in vitro diagnostic product (IVD) and research reagents business at MBL.
CrownBio will also be involved in the commercialization plans of JSR’s research programs at SR-Keio University Medical and Chemical Innovation Center (JKiC) – a Japan-based “industry-academia-medicine collaboration hub,” which the company opened in November 2017 in partnership with Keio University’s medical school.
“We also see clear opportunities to provide significant value and efficiency gains by allowing CrownBio and KBI/Selexis to work closely together in supporting Biopharma’s efforts to bring more effective therapeutics to the market, more quickly and more economically,” said Johnson.
In consultation with CrownBio management, JSR has forecasted a revenue and EBITDA margin of $90m and $20m, respectively, for CrownBio in 2018.
Completion of the merger is expected to close before the end of the second quarter of 2018.