Quotient acquisition of Arcinova aimed at ‘streamlining’ early development process for biotech and pharma companies

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/AndreyPopov
© GettyImages/AndreyPopov

Related tags CDMO Early phase

Quotient Sciences, a drug development and manufacturing accelerator with facilities in the UK and the US, has acquired Arcinova, a UK-based multiservice contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

Arcinova provides drug substance, drug product and bioanalysis services to over 200 pharma and biotech customers worldwide. It has been in business for over 40 years. 

The combined business will continue to focus on both biotech firms and pharmaceutical companies developing small molecules for oral delivery.

As part of the deal, Arcinova’s minority equity partner, BGF, will exit the business, having backed its growth since 2018.  

Helping industry hit key clinical milestones 

We asked Mark Egerton, CEO, Quotient Sciences, how this acquisition would support biotechnology companies in the UK and beyond?

“Proof-of-concept (POC) is a pivotal milestone in the drug development process, and biotech companies worldwide are always looking for ways of streamlining the early development process to shorten project timelines, reduce costs and hit key clinical milestones as efficiently as possible.

“Quotient Sciences acquired Arcinova because of its considerable expertise in working with customers at the candidate selection to clinical phase, with a reputation for strong scientific input and with experience in process route selection, drug substance manufacturing and scale-up.”

The addition of this capability to Quotient’s service portfolio will enable the integration of drug substance, drug product and clinical testing capabilities – all under one organization with a single project management function, commented the CEO.

“This will cut through more drug industry silos, extending the 12-month timeline savings already delivered by Quotient’s flagship platform Translational Pharmaceutics and create additional multi-month timeline savings and simplify outsourcing programs for biotech companies.”

Egerton says it is becoming critical for biotech players to partner with a CDMO that has the capabilities to contain, handle, develop and manufacture increasingly complex drug molecules.

Fully integrated development and manufacturing partners are now coming to the fore, said Egerton.

"The one-stop-shop model – with vertical and horizontal integration of services – is clearly beneficial to small biotechs and midsized pharma companies. Arcinova’s drug substance capability enables Quotient to engage with customers at the point of candidate selection. By closely integrating the drug substance to drug product supply-chain scheduling and hand-off points, projects will run much more smoothly, resulting in significant timeline benefits for the biotech industry."

How to be 'the first to market'

He notes the considerable attention being given to personalized medicines in the biotech space, with high levels of interest in next-generation cell and gene therapies.

In terms of the main challenges facing the biotechnology industry right now, the CEO reckons innovation and speed to patient are more critical than ever for biotech players in the race to attract an investor, pharma partner or be the first to market.

"This was highlighted in recent months with the COVID-19 pandemic and the urgent need to approve and commercialize vaccines worldwide. In response to these time pressures, biotech and pharma companies are consolidating their list of suppliers and trying to simplify supply chains with end-to-end development and manufacturing services.”​ 

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