Citoxlab buys up specialist CRO Solvo Biotechnology, boosting offering

castle from a distance at twilight
Solvo is based in Hungary. (Image: Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA 2.0)

European CROs are getting in on the contract services M&A craze, with Citoxlab looking to boost its position among the top nonclinical CROs by buying up Solvo Biotechnology.

With the Solvo buy, financial details of which were not disclosed, the company gains 100 staffers and a new offering in the form of drug transporter studies and the assessment of Drug-Drug Interactions (DDI).

Around for nearly 20 years, Hungary-based Solvo works in a growing field focused on the investigation of the transport mechanisms that are pivotal for drug development.

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“Alongside metabolism data, a thorough knowledge of the drug candidates’ transport is key to identifying potential DDI, in addition to developing an understanding of their pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and safety profile,” the companies said in a joint statement.

These transporter studies are also a regulatory must when it comes to entering larger clinical tests.

Dr. Jean-Francois Le Bigot, president and CEO of Citoxlab Group, says of the deal, which should complete next month: “The acquisition of Solvo Biotechnology will allow us to offer the most elaborated in vitro Drug Metabolism and PharmacoKinetics (DMPK) services to our customers. These are fully complementary with the in vivo DMPK studies we already provide from our sites in France, the U.S. and Canada. As an example, using in vitro human hepatocytes, the assessment of transport and metabolism is possible at a very early stage of development.

“These investigations are increasingly included in the selection of lead candidates; in vitro inter-species comparisons now contribute significantly to the selection of the relevant species in safety studies. Naturally, the international scientific reputation of the Solvo Biotechnology team, which performs more than 50% of its projects for U.S. customers, and the dynamism and entrepreneurship of its founder Ernö Duda, also founder of the Hungarian Biotechnology Association, were also key criteria in our decision to acquire Solvo Biotechnology.”