Pharmaron obtains majority stake in Shin Nippon’s Maryland unit

China-based Pharmaron has signed a deal to obtain a majority stake in Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories Clinical Pharmacology Center in Baltimore, Maryland, the fourth acquisition it sealed in about a year.

Located on the campus of the University of Maryland BioPark, the 96-bed facility is part of Japan-based CRO Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories and focuses on phase 1 and phase 2 clinical pharmacology research. It offers services in a wide range of therapeutic areas, including immunology, CV, urology, infectious disease, CNS, endocrinology, etc.

Since its initiation in 2005, the unit has completed over 200 studies, many of which have been submitted for regulatory filings or drug approvals for marketing of both small and large molecules, the company said in a press release.

SNBL will still retain a minority stake in the business, but the companies didn’t share any further financial details of the transaction.

SNBL, besides its headquarters and pathology lab in Tokyo, also has a preclinical drug safety research site in Kagoshima, Japan. The Japanese CRO also has two other units in Washington state and Texas, and two more in Cambodia and China.

The acquisition, “an important milestone for Pharmaron,” as Larry Lou, President and COO of Pharmaron put it in a statement, marks the most recent effort of the Beijing-based CRO to offer “a full spectrum of R&D services.”

Last February, it took in U.K.-based fellow CRO Quotient Bioresearch, broadening the company’s reach in the European market. Another deal in the country followed in September when the Chinese CRO tapped Merck’s Hoddesdon site, which includes MSD’s process R&D facility. That acquisition was finished just this February with a grand opening ceremony.

Perhaps the deal that caught more eyes was the acquisition of well-established mass spectrometry specialist Xceleron—also in Maryland—in January. The company developed the robust use of 14C-microtracer technology in pharmaceutical R&D.