CRO Frontage gets into agrochemicals with new service offering

Contract drug developer Frontage Laboratories is expanding its business to include agrochemical testing, adding capacity in hopes of lengthening its client roster.

The company's Exton, PA, lab completed an EPA inspection last month with no reported issues, Frontage said, clearing the CRO to begin offering its services to agrochemical developers. Frontage plans to provide tests of pharmacokinetics, metabolism and stability, the company said.

To prepare, Frontage has added about 10,000 square feet of new lab space and brought in some imaging technology, the company said, an expansion that will help it suit the needs of future agrochemical partners.

"There is considerable synergy between pharmaceutical and agrochemical product development," CEO Song Li said in a statement, "hence it was very easy for us to tap into the existing talent and processes to execute these studies."

Frontage has been growing its presence in the U.S. and China over the past few years, in July acquiring a 45% stake in New Jersey's BDM Consulting, a biometrics-focused company looking to expand the market for its data services. In 2014, Chinese CRO Hangzhou Tigermed traded $50 million for a majority stake in Frontage, helping the company establish itself overseas.

- read the statement