Sartorius snags U.K. CRO BioOutsource with an eye on biosimilars

Biopharma production specialist Sartorius Stedim Biotech has acquired BioOutsource, a U.K. CRO focused on the growing demand for knockoffs of top-selling biologics.

Without disclosing financial details, Sartorius said it's picking up a biosimilars expert in BioOutsource, absorbing a company that employs about 85 people and banked roughly €9 million in revenue last year. BioOutsource, which makes its money testing biologics and characterizing biosimilars, expanded into the U.S. in 2013 with an office in Cambridge, MA, and doubled its capacity last year with a new outpost in its native Glasgow.

Analysts figure the global market for biosimilars could reach $35 billion by 2020 as more and more blockbusters lose patent protection, and Sartorius believes integrating BioOutsource's capabilities will help it play a part in the growing field.

"By adding contract testing services, we will be able to support our biopharma clients even better in their drive to fast-track their new drug candidates through the development and clinical test phases and facilitate lot-release testing in large-scale manufacturing," board member Reinhard Vogt said in a statement. "The highly qualified team at BioOutsource will ideally complement our expertise, and we are looking forward to working with them."

Sartorius, headquartered in France, makes its money selling technology and services related to biopharma manufacturing. The company employs about 3,700 people around the world.

- read the statement