Chris Perkin, Altasciences via Youtube

A year af­ter ex­pan­sion in Penn­syl­va­nia, Al­ta­sciences scoops up CRO to spread to Mid­west

Al­ta­sciences CEO Chris Perkin has gone through sev­er­al ac­qui­si­tions in his 45-year ca­reer. And if there’s one thing he learned, it’s how not to go through an ac­qui­si­tion.

His com­pa­ny put that knowl­edge to use on Tues­day when it an­nounced that it had ac­quired com­peti­tor Sin­clair re­search, a pre­clin­i­cal con­tract re­search or­ga­ni­za­tion in Mis­souri. With the pick­up, Al­ta­sciences gains 80 an­i­mal rooms, and full-ser­vice IND and NDA-en­abling tox­i­col­o­gy and safe­ty phar­ma­col­o­gy ser­vices.

The com­pa­ny has been around for more than 50 years, and Perkin said that the move has felt more like meet­ing up with fel­low col­leagues than ac­quir­ing a new as­set. Sin­clair’s reg­u­la­to­ry his­to­ry is sol­id, he said, and it gives Al­ta­sciences more op­por­tu­ni­ties in the small mol­e­cule mar­ket, which can be of­ten over­looked. That will al­low for a range of dif­fer­ent drug class­es, and broad­en the over­all pre­clin­i­cal of­fer­ings.

“We’ve al­ways been aware of Sin­clair, I mean, that’s a com­peti­tor,” Perkin said. “When it came up for sale…we start­ed talk­ing with the own­ers, and we con­nect­ed along a lot of lev­els. Sim­i­lar cul­ture, sim­i­lar ap­proach to cus­tomer ser­vice. It just gave us so much of a com­fort lev­el that they had al­ready heard of us, it was just more like col­leagues com­ing to­geth­er than form­ing a new com­pa­ny.”

Perkin said that cul­ture was the biggest pri­or­i­ty for the team. If you meet the cur­rent em­ploy­ees where they al­ready are, you can iden­ti­fy strate­gies and meth­ods the team have in place. When you don’t have to change much, morale is kept high.

The lo­ca­tion in Mis­souri al­so stood out to Al­ta­sciences, as it al­ready boasts Wash­ing­ton state and Penn­syl­va­nia sites on ei­ther coast.

“It’s per­fect be­cause it fills a gap, but it’s on­ly a cou­ple of hours, at most from our cam­pus with a clin­i­cal site, which al­ways brings a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties as we pro­vide this in­te­grat­ed so­lu­tion for drug de­vel­op­ment,” Perkin said.

The ac­qui­si­tion marks the eighth site un­der the Al­ta­sciences um­brel­la. Six of those have come through ac­qui­si­tions, and three of those deals were made in 2021 alone. The com­pa­ny isn’t done ei­ther. The deal fits in­to its long-term growth plan, which is fo­cused on ex­pand­ing both or­gan­i­cal­ly and through ac­qui­si­tions, and stretch­ing its reach ge­o­graph­i­cal­ly. Most press­ing is the com­pa­ny’s move to Eu­rope, which is cur­rent­ly in the works. More con­crete news on that front is ex­pect­ed to be re­leased in the next five to six months, Perkin said.

Ed­i­tor’s Note: For more news and ex­clu­sive cov­er­age from the man­u­fac­tur­ing beat, sub­scribe to the End­points Man­u­fac­tur­ing week­ly re­port in your read­er pro­file.

M&A: a crit­i­cal dri­ver for sus­tain­able top-line growth in health­care

2021 saw a record $600B in healthcare M&A activity. In 2022, there is an anticipated slowdown in activity, however, M&A prospects remain strong in the medium to long-term. What are future growth drivers for the healthcare sector? Where might we see innovations that drive M&A? RBC’s Andrew Callaway, Global Head, Healthcare Investment Banking discusses with Vito Sperduto, Global Co-Head, M&A.

15 LGBTQ lead­ers in bio­phar­ma; Paul Stof­fels’ Gala­pa­gos re­vamp; As­traZeneca catch­es up in AT­TR; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

A return to in-person conferences also marks a return to on-the-ground reporting. My colleagues Beth Synder Bulik and Nicole DeFeudis were on-site at Cannes Lions, bringing live coverage of pharma’s presence at the ad festival — accompanied by photos from Clara Bui, our virtual producer, that bring you right to the scene. You can find a recap (and links to all the stories) below.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 144,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

AstraZeneca's new Evusheld direct to consumer campaign aims to reach more immunocompromised patients.

As­traZeneca de­buts first con­sumer cam­paign for its Covid-19 pro­phy­lac­tic Evusheld — and a first for EUA drugs

AstraZeneca’s first consumer ad for Evusheld is also a first for drugs that have been granted emergency use authorizations during the pandemic.

The first DTC ad for a medicine under emergency approval, the Evusheld campaign launching this week aims to raise awareness among immunocompromised patients — and spur more use.

Evusheld nabbed emergency authorization in December, however, despite millions of immunocompromised people looking for a solution and now more widespread availability of the drug.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 144,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

De­spite a slow start to the year for deals, PwC pre­dicts a flur­ry of ac­tiv­i­ty com­ing up

Despite whispers of a busy year for M&A, deal activity in the pharma space is actually down 30% on a semi-annualized basis, according to PwC’s latest report on deal activity. But don’t rule out larger deals in the second half of the year, the consultants said.

PwC pharmaceutical and life sciences consulting solutions leader Glenn Hunzinger expects to see Big Pharma companies picking up earlier stage companies to try and fill pipeline gaps ahead of a slew of big patent cliffs. Though a bear market continues to maul the biotech sector, Hunzinger said recent deals indicate that pharma companies are still paying above current trading prices.

Abortion-rights protesters regroup and protest following Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Fol­low­ing SCO­TUS de­ci­sion to over­turn abor­tion pro­tec­tions, AG Gar­land says states can't ban the abor­tion pill

Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision on Friday to overturn Americans’ constitutional right to an abortion after almost 50 years, Attorney General Merrick Garland sought to somewhat reassure women that states will not be able to ban the prescription drug sometimes used for abortions.

Following the decision, the New England Journal of Medicine also published an editorial strongly condemning the reversal, saying it “serves American families poorly, putting their health, safety, finances, and futures at risk.”

Spanish Prime Minister Pédro Sanchez and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

EU to launch vac­cine de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing part­ner­ship with Latin Amer­i­can and Caribbean coun­tries

While European companies, including BioNTech, are focused on increasing vaccine access to African countries by setting up vaccine manufacturing facilities, the European Union is looking westward to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Speaking at a press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pédro Sanchez, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU is launching a new initiative for vaccines and medicines manufacturing in Latin America, to get drugs to Latin America and the Caribbean faster.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing roundup: GSK opens a new fa­cil­i­ty at Barnard Cas­tle lo­ca­tion; Tenaya Ther­a­peu­tics com­pletes build­out of Bay Area ge­net­ic med­i­cine man­u­fac­tur­ing site

GSK is continuing to build out its Barnard Castle site in the UK.

According to the company, it has opened a new aseptic smart manufacturing facility at the site, which is located in County Durham in the northeast of England.

The new facility, known as Q Block, is a fully automated and digital facility that leverages digital technology to make manufacturing operations as efficient as possible.

The 11,500-square-meter facility started construction in 2018 and according to the UK news site Business Live, the costs for the new building were £90 million, or around $110 million.

FDA warns Mex­i­can glyc­erin man­u­fac­tur­er for re­fus­ing an in­spec­tion

A drug manufacturing facility in Mexico is drawing the ire of the FDA after it ignored the US regulator’s inspection requests and phone calls.

According to the warning letter issued on June 13, Glicerinas Industriales refused a pre-announced inspection during a phone call with FDA prior to the inspection at the company’s facility in Zapopan, Mexico, a city next to Guadalajara, which was planned for May 16 to May 20.

Rwanda president Paul Kagame and BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin (via BioNTech)

BioN­Tech breaks ground on first mR­NA vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty in Africa

Covid vaccine access to lower- and middle-income nations has been a concern during the length of the pandemic, but BioNTech is now pushing forward with plans to increase vaccine access for Africa.

Construction work has kicked off for an mRNA manufacturing facility in Kigali, Rwanda. According to BioNTech, the facility, dubbed the African modular mRNA manufacturing facility, has a target for the first set of manufacturing tools to be delivered to the site by the end of this year.