Hyderabad-based small-molecule contract research organisation (CRO) GVK Biosciences is acquiring 65% of the stake in Aragen Bioscience Inc, a privately held US based pre-clinical CRO specializing in high-value biologics services. Both the unlisted companies entered into an agreement to this effect.
This is GVK BIO’s first international acquisition. The financial details were not disclosed. GVK BIO, which is currently conducting contract research to over 350 companies, has an employee strength of 2,400, while Aragen has 50 people on its rolls.
GVK BIO chief executive officer, Manni Kantipudi, told Business standard that the remaining 35% of the stake in Aragen would be acquired over a period of two years. Aragen would be operated as a separate entity even after this acquisition.
Stating that 40% of all new drugs being discovered at present were in biologicals, he said acquisition of Aragen would make GVK BIO strong in both small and large molecules research.
"As an increasing number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies focus on protein based therapeutics and bio-similars, the acquisition of Aragen Bioscience will strategically enhance GVK BIO’s ability to offer high quality R&D services to the industry from a seamless integrated platform”, GVK Bio chairman. DS Brar, stated in a press release.
The deal, according to the press release, enables GVK BIO to expand its service offering to a broader base of organisations and gives the company expertise in biologics services and a significant US presence. The acquisition also provides Aragen with the ability to expand its service offerings, access to GVK BIO’s global sales force and access to new markets.
"Aragen’s scientific excellence and expertise in large-molecule R&D services combined with GVK BIO’s scale, resources, and global reach will create significant synergies for both companies” stated Rick Srigley, president and chief executive officer of Aragen Bioscience.