Will Catalent’s Deal Launch the Next Wave of CRO M&A?

Will Catalent’s Deal Launch the Next Wave of CRO M&A?

Contract research organizations (CROs), like contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), have been popular targets for private equity firms and strategic buyers for years. The deals seem to come in waves, and the healthcare M&A market may be in for a tsunami this year. In 2013, some 20 transactions for CRO/CDMO targets were announced, with some hefty price tags attached. Royal DSM paid $1.95 billion to buy Patheon. Other big deals that didn’t disclose prices came from KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKR), which acquired both PRA International and ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services that year. CRO deal volume rose a little in 2014 (27 deals), then ebbed in 2015 (11 deals). The... Read More »
Will Catalent’s Deal Launch the Next Wave of CRO M&A?

Charles River Laboratories Purchases France-based Citoxlab

Charles River Laboratories International (NYSE: CRL), a global early-stage contract research organization (CRO), announced it has purchased the French non-clinical lab Citoxlab. Based in Evreux Cedex, France, the target specializes in regulated safety assessment services, non-regulated discovery services, and medical device testing. The deal cost Charles River $510 million, roughly 13.8x EBITDA for Citoxlab. The acquisition strengthens Charles River’s services in general and in specialty toxicology, preclinical medical device testing, non-regulated discovery solutions, and genomics research. The deal is expected to add $115-$130 million to Charles River’s 2019 revenue. On a trailing... Read More »
Specialty CROs Are the Latest Trend in Services Targets

Specialty CROs Are the Latest Trend in Services Targets

Contract research organizations (CROs) were huge targets in 2017, with four of the sector’s 10 biggest deals bringing in $22.9 billion, combined. The CRO market has cooled in 2018, but interesting new trends pop up now and then. The latest is the trend toward specialty CROs, which focus on specific areas such as diseases of the central nervous system. In one week in July, two such CROs have traded hands. The first, on July 9, was Oculos Clinical Research, a CRO based in Tampa, Florida that focuses on ophthalmology. Private equity firm Point Guard Partners was exiting, and Iuvo Bioscience, a portfolio company of Tartan Holdings, was investing. Iuvo Bioscience, based in Rush, New... Read More »
Catalent Takes Juniper Pharmaceuticals Private

Catalent Takes Juniper Pharmaceuticals Private

Catalent, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTLT), a contract research organization (CRO), announced its acquisition of thinly traded nano cap Juniper Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: JPR) for $139.6 million. Catalent, based in Somerset, New Jersey, offers development services, delivery technologies and supply solutions for drugs and biologics. On a trailing 12-month basis, the company generated revenue of $2.4 billion, and EBITDA of $484.6 million. Juniper, based in Boston, Massachusetts, focuses on developing novel intra-vaginal therapeutics that address unmet medical needs in women’s health. This deal includes Juniper’s UK-based Juniper Pharma Services division, a high-end CRO. The transaction... Read More »
Charles River Labs Adds MPI Research

Charles River Labs Adds MPI Research

The CRO deals just keep coming. Four have been announced since the beginning of the year,  targeting contract research organizations (CROs). The latest announcement came from Charles River Laboratories International (NYSE: CRL), which is paying $800 million for Mattawan, Michigan-based MPI Research. This is the highest disclosed price for an acquisition by Charles River since 2011. MPI is a premier non-clinical contract research organization (CRO) that provides comprehensive testing services to biopharmaceutical and medical device companies worldwide. Its acquisition enhances Charles River’s ability to partner with clients across the drug discovery and development continuum. This... Read More »
Clinical Trial Software Companies Are Hot

Clinical Trial Software Companies Are Hot

The digital health sector is benefitting big-time from the explosion in drug discovery transactions in 2017. Investors are now targeting eHealth companies specializing in clinical trial software. The statistics behind the surge in mergers and acquisitions in the drug discovery market are impressive. Through the first week in November, 43 deals targeting contract research organizations (CROs) have been announced, up nearly 70% from this time in 2016, and a 760% increase from this time in 2015. Biotechnology deals are speeding up as well, up nearly 30% from the past two years. Pharmaceutical companies are a main driver of demand in these sectors. Rather than fund in-house R&D, Big Pharma... Read More »