WuXi and PRA break up their Chinese joint venture

WuXi PharmaTech ($WX) and PRA Health Sciences ($PRAH) are splitting up their China-focused joint venture, preserving an alliance but separating their operations in the country after more than two years of collaboration.

Under the breakup agreement, the joint venture's operations in mainland China will become a wholly owned subsidiary of WuXi, while its Hong Kong operation will go to PRA. But the pair will remain business partners, with WuXi signing on to serve as a preferred provider of trial services for future PRA studies run on the mainland.

The joint venture, dubbed WuXiPRA, launched in 2013 with the goal of bringing PRA's clinical trial technology to WuXi's existing presence in its native China, and the pair recruited former Theorem Clinical Research CEO James Pusey to run the operation. But much has changed since then, as PRA, growing through a series of bolt-on acquisition, has gone public and sought to build a global enterprise of its own. And WuXi, doubling down on genomics and manufacturing, is moving to go private and expand beyond traditional trial services.

PRA, on the rise since pulling off a $300 million IPO in 2014, has been expanding in Asia on its own, last month opening a regional hub in Singapore with plans to bolster its share of the growing local market for clinical research.

And WuXi is on the verge of a $3.3 billion deal that will take the company private, winning investor approval last month and planning to close the deal by year's end.

- read the statement

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