Parexel scoops up pharma software provider Liquent for $72M

Parexel International ($PRXL) revealed today that the large contract research organization for pharma and medical device outfits nailed down a deal to buy Liquent, a provider of regulatory information management software, for $72 million.

The deal is expected to bolster Parexel's software offerings from its Perceptive Informatics subsidiary and its consulting and medical communications services business, the company announced.

Parexel has a history of using information technology to enhance its services. The Waltham, MA-based CRO outfit offers clients in biopharma and medical devices electronic clinical trials software through its Perceptive unit, and the company has integrated several pieces of the Perceptive package with its MyTrials platform, unveiled in June.

Horsham, PA-based Liquent's software supports regulatory submissions and product registrations. The 18-year-old company boasts a client roster of more than 200 biopharma and life sciences companies. And Parexel expects the Liquent business, which was previously owned by Marlin Equity Partners, to add $17 million to $23 million in service revenue in the second half of its fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.

"The acquisition of Liquent further strengthens our regulatory capabilities by adding a robust information technology platform," Parexel Chairman and CEO Josef von Rickenbach said in a statement. "Through Liquent's flagship software platform, InSight, our clients will have access to comprehensive regulatory agency submission planning, viewing, tracking, publishing, and registration management throughout the entire lifecycle of a medicinal entity."

The purchase of Liquent follows the global consulting giant Accenture's August buyout of regulatory software contender Octagon Research Solutions. Regulatory submissions involve large amounts of documentation, making the process of submitting applications to regulators such as the FDA and EMA ripe for automation and IT support.

- here's the release
- see The Boston Globe's update
- read FierceCRO's coverage