Quotient Clinical’s second U.S. acquisition in a row: Charles River’s QS Pharma

Quotient Clinical has bought Charles River's CDMO QS Pharma, just days after it took in fellow CRO SeaView Research.

Just a few days after the announcement of the acquisition of SeaView, U.K.’s Quotient Clinical further strengthened its foothold in the U.S. by bringing in QS Pharma.

Formerly a GMP manufacturing facility of Charles River Laboratories, QS Pharma specializes in the formulation development and manufacturing of small-molecule drug products, and has an annual commercial capability of producing about 50 million units of solid oral meds and up to 10 million units for liquid products.

What Quotient is eying in particular is QS’ capability to work with high potency molecules, which is a fast-growing market need, the company said in a press release.

The CDMO acquisition came hard on the heels with that of SeaView Research, which, like Quotient itself, focuses on early-stage drug development and offers such services as first-in-human investigations. The SeaView buy marked Quotient’s official entry into the U.S. market, even though it already had several U.S. customers beforehand.

The two acquisitions combined will expand Quotient business to about 600 employees, with annual revenues approaching $100 million, Quotient CEO Mark Egerton said in a press release.

The U.K.-based CRO has a proprietary Translational Pharmaceutics platform, a drug production platform that accelerates the drug development process by integrating formulation development, real-time GMP manufacturing and clinical testing at one site. The company said the company’s existing profile have “strong synergies with the QS Pharma business.”

Quotient’s well-established U.K. unit currently hosts GMP manufacturing and clinical testing facilities on the same site, yet for the two new units in the U.S., clinical testing branch SeaView has two locations both in Florida, and QS, the GMP manufacturing unit, is located in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia.

But Egerton doesn’t seem to think that’s posing a problem. He said the company have for the last three years undertaken a number of patient-based trials programs using its Translational Pharmaceutics platform at totally 60 sites in 20 different countries.

“From this experience, we have concluded that we don’t need the manufacturing and clinical sites to be co-located,” said Egerton in a written response. “Hence, our confidence in being able to deliver Translational Pharmaceutics programs out of the QS Pharma and SeaView locations.”

Over 100 leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies have chosen Translational Pharmaceutics to accelerate the development of their products, the company said in the release, and the two recent moves “paves the way” for the CRO to replicate this platform in the U.S.