Quintiles buying Novella with eye on emerging biotechs

Quintiles ($Q) is back on the buyer's block for the first time since going public, agreeing to scoop up oncology-focused CRO Novella Clinical for an undisclosed sum.

Quintiles clinical development president Paula Brown Stafford

Under the deal, Quintiles will pick up Novella's 800 employees and its client roster of small to mid-size drug developers, medical device outfits and diagnostics companies.

In its 15 years of existence, Novella has established itself as an ideal partner for emerging companies, Quintiles' clinical development president Paula Brown Stafford said, and joining the world's largest CRO won't change that. Instead, the company will function as a nimble source of flexible services under the Quintiles umbrella, she said.

"The expertise and insight the Novella team brings will be a strong addition to our existing capabilities and help further differentiate Quintiles in an increasingly competitive marketplace," Stafford said in a statement. "Novella's understanding of emerging companies, as well as our shared commitment to quality, customer service, and, above all, the patients we ultimately serve, makes this acquisition a good fit for both organizations."

From here on out, the CRO will be billed as "Novella Clinical, a Quintiles company," and CEO Richard Staub said he believes the last three words of that title will only make things easier for the outsourcer.

"By joining Quintiles, we will be able to extend the geographic reach of our services exponentially while remaining committed to the values and business approach that make us a great partner to our customers," Staub said in a statement.

Quintiles expects to close the deal later this quarter, and integrating Novella won't have a material impact on 2013 profits, the company said. Quintiles is expecting between 3.8% and 5.2% revenue growth on the year, eyeing up to $3.8 billion for the year.

- read the announcement

Special Report: Paula Brown Stafford - Women in Biotech 2012

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