Covance dials up its postmarket biz with latest buy

Global CRO Covance ($CVD) is looking to expand its share of the drug-commercialization space, buying up a U.K. market access specialist to help its clients sell their approved products.

The London-headquartered Medaxial bills itself as a "value-communication consultancy," meaning it makes its money helping drugmakers convince payers and providers to use their treatments, using health economic modeling and data dissemination. The firm will from now on operate as an arm of Covance's existing market access segment, part of a company-leading late-stage development unit that brought in $1.5 billion last year.

Covance bills itself as the most comprehensive CRO in the business, and the Medaxial buy is an effort to bolster its offerings at the tail end of the development cycle, when companies are working to get their drugs and devices into the hands and bodies of patients.

"Medaxial, with their proven expertise in optimizing data-driven, solution-focused communication of a medical product's value will further complement our market access offerings," said Covance Vice President Marc Ginsky in a statement. "Proactive and effective communication of clinical and economic value is critical to help clients navigate an increasingly complex drug development and payment landscape, as they strive to provide innovative medical products to patients."

Covance's market access revenues declined in the first quarter, the company said, a dip more than offset by growth in its central lab and clinical development businesses.

The CRO's recent focus on post-market follows a trend among the industry's largest contractors, as Parexel ($PRXL) has keyed in on market access for growth and Quintiles ($Q) last week bought a healthcare analytics firm to expand its influence on providers.

- read the announcement

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