Altasciences aims to create a new outsourcing paradigm, not to be the biggest: CEO

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/phototechno)
(Image: Getty/phototechno)

Related tags: Altasciences, Preclinical contract research, Preclinical services, Clinical development

Altasciences’ acquisition of a preclinical testing business marks the “next major milestone” in the CRO’s goal to provide an integrated offering from lead candidate selection to proof of concept.

CEO Chris Perkin said the company’s strength in Phase I/II trial conduct and support, bioanalytical capabilities, and customer service track record “were the perfect foundation for adding preclinical safety testing capabilities.”

The mid-sized contract research organization (CRO) announced in August​ its deal to acquire the preclinical testing business SNBL.

“This acquisition is the next major milestone in our company-wide transformation to work towards creating a truly integrated service offering from lead candidate selection to proof of concept,”​ Perkin told us.

“Our goal is to limit the number of handoffs and bottlenecks in outsourcing, and offer unparalleled communication/interactions, which makes the process easier for our clients and sets a new paradigm of outsourcing in drug development,”​ he said.

As part of this, the company has set up a unique management structure with all operations, both preclinical and clinical, under one executive. It also has put all research services under another executive. “We believe that this will enable the two divisions to build a coordinated approach to integration rather than remain siloed,​” he explained.

"Altasciences’ goal is to work towards integration. It is impossible to claim that we can be integrated as of day one of the acquisition,"​ Perkin added. "We want to be different from other CROs that make the claim of being integrated but haven’t been able to deliver. Once we say that we are truly integrated, then we will be."

The next steps

In an industry “plagued by mergers and acquisitions,” ​Perkin said that Altasciences’ goal is not to be the biggest CRO.

“We want to continue creating value for our clients by identifying services that will improve ‘speed and ease’ throughout the early stages of drug development to save our clients time, and help them reach critical decision making milestones faster,” ​he explained.

Perkin also said the company does not want to change what has made it successful. Its early phase clinical offering will remain important and it will “continue to innovate and grow within the clinical space,” ​he added.

Altasciences also has added three new employees to the Seattle team: Michael Broadhurst as general manager, preclinical safety testing operations; Francis Douville as vice president, operations; and Julie Forget as director, toxicology.

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