Piramal banks on pharma's data binging in $635M buyout of Decision Resources

Sold on the growing need for data in biopharma, India's Piramal Healthcare has scooped up Decision Resources Group in deal valued at about $635 million, Piramal and DRG revealed Wednesday. The deal comes amid rapid business expansion at Decision Resources, which provides web-based research tools, predictive analytics and other services to drugmakers and other healthcare stakeholders.

Burlington, MA-based Decision Resources is expected to operate as a standalone business under the ownership of Piramal, with the new owner projecting its new acquisition to continue to gobble up greater shares of the three market segments in which the company operates. Decision Resources expects $160 million in revenue in 2012, and the company plays in market segments valued at $2.5 billion. An attractive buyout target, Decision Resources has managed to retain 95% of its customers while serving 48 of the 50 top biopharma companies in the world.

For biopharma customers, Decision Resources provides various reports, specialized databases and consulting services focused on drug utilization and projections in multiple therapeutic areas, according to the companies. Drugmakers often tap such data sources to help make decisions about where to focus their R&D investments as well as to inform their commercial strategies. To deliver its services, Decision Resources checks the pulse of the market via a network of 125,000 physicians and other healthcare pros.

"The global healthcare industry is facing several challenges including rising research costs, lower drug approval rates, mounting regulatory pressures and increasingly complex reimbursement models," said Ajay Piramal, chairman of Piramal Healthcare. "The need for specialist information is critical, and the demand is growing. DRG's portfolio of products is widely regarded as the gold standard of information."

Piramal has been spreading its bets across high-growth opportunities in recent years, bankrolling some of its investments with proceeds from the $3.8 billion sale of its generic-drug business to Abbott Labs ($ABT) in 2010, The Wall Street Journal reported.

- here's the release
- check out the WSJ's article