EQT to buy Certara from Arsenal for $850M

Handshake
Private equity firm EQT is acquiring in silico drug development service provider Certara from Arsenal Capital Partners for $850 million.

Private equity firm EQT is acquiring in silico drug development service provider Certara from Arsenal Capital Partners, a deal that values the CRO at $850 million, Arsenal announced on Tuesday.

Arsenal will retain an unspecified minority stake in Certara, and the company’s current management team, including CEO Edmundo Muniz, M.D., Ph.D., who joined the company in June 2014 from Kirax, will stay on.

Certara is known for its drug development modeling software and regulatory services. Founded in 2008 from a merger between drug discovery informatics provider Tripos and clinical software and regulatory services specialist Pharsight, the company’s current expertise was built through a series of seemingly ceaseless acquisitions:

  • In 2012, it scooped up Simcyp, a maker of modeling software for preclinical drug research for $32 million.
  • In 2013, it bought competitor Great Lakes Drug Development, further expanding its early drug development modeling and simulation capabilities
  • The company added global regulatory writing and submission services in 2014 through the purchase of Synchrogenix, which in early 2015 snatched up ClinGenuity for its artificial intelligence-assisted medical writing service.
  • Several other similar M&As followed, including pharmacometrics consulting firm Quantitative Solutions, XenologiQ and most recently D3 Medicine in September 2016.

Thanks to its acquisitions, the services provided by the Princeton, New Jersey-based CRO now span from physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling and simulation to pharmacometrics to commercial optimization and regulatory writing.

The company, through 19 offices in four continents, serves 1,200 commercial companies, 250 academic institutions and almost all major regulatory agencies. More than 500 employees work for the company, with 100 scientists in in silico drug development practice and 120 in the regulatory writing section.

This marks EQT’s second major investment in the U.S. healthcare sector, following a $2.35 billion deal to buy up Press Ganey Holdings, a provider of patient satisfaction surveys, according to Reuters.

The CRO realm is nothing short of dealmaking these days, witnessing such megamerger deals as the $7.4 billion union between InVentiv Health and INC Research, and $17.6 billion between Quintiles and IMS Health. Parexel is also being taken private by Pamplona Capital Management for around $5 billion, a deal announced in late June.