Huntingdon buys Harlan Labs in a bet on CRO growth

Non-clinical contract researcher Huntingdon Life Sciences has acquired Harlan Laboratories, boosting its stake in animal models and creating a combined company with revenue it says will reach near half a billion dollars a year.

The U.K.'s Huntingdon makes its money running animal studies for the pharma, crop protection and chemical industries, and merging with Harlan will expand its reach into biotech and med tech, Huntingdon CEO Brian Cass said. The combined entity will divide itself into research models and services and contract research services, creating a strong platform for future growth, Harlan CEO Hans Thunem said.

"Merging these two leading companies, with their complementary product and service offerings, positions the combined organization as a global leader in supporting the growing market for outsourced research and development," Thunem said in a statement. "Brian and his newly expanded team bring enormous depth and experience to the increasingly complex challenges facing non-clinical and pre-clinical researchers."

Harlan has been on something of an expansion binge over the past year and change. In January, the company made a bid to grow its animal model business by opening its first breeding facility in India, and the CRO boosted its presence in Japan, South Korea, Israel and Europe in 2013. In the same year, the CRO invested in its U.S. operations to expand its share of the market for immunocompromised research models.

- read the statement

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