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Catal­ent inks $133M deal to buy Ju­niper Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, adding UK de­vel­op­ment ser­vices

The biopharma contract developer and manufacturer Catalent $CTLT has swooped in to buy out Juniper Pharmaceuticals $JNP for $133 million, adding their services with an eye to amping up its early drug development offerings in the UK.

The buyout — at $11.50 a share — brings 150 staffers and their Juniper Pharma Services division in Nottingham. Catalent is looking to add their expertise on formulation development, bioavailability solutions and clinical-scale oral dose manufacturing to the company’s global operations. The company also manages the Crinone (progesterone gel) franchise.

Clin­i­cal tri­al dis­rup­tor Sci­ence 37 in talks with Soft­Bank on a $150M in­vest­ment — Re­code

Just a few months after pharma giant Novartis partnered up with Science 37 on its virtual approach to clinical trial work, Recode reports that the would-be CRO disruptor is in talks with SoftBank execs on a $150 million investment.

SoftBank, which provided Roivant chief Vivek Ramaswamy with more than a billion dollars to invest in biotech, evidently has been drawn to Science 37’s promise that it can efficiently and effectively recruit patients for clinical trials without forcing them into a trial site. Using new telemedicine tech, they say they can accumulate clean datasets to show whether or not new drugs are working — hoping to disrupt the big players who now dominate the CRO world.

List­ing in Shang­hai, WuXi AppTec rais­es a $354M IPO for Chi­na R&D fa­cil­i­ties

One day after Hong Kong’s stock exchange scored its first pre-revenue IPO application, Shanghai Stock Exchange got its own time in the limelight as global CRO WuXi AppTec hauled in $354 million (RMB2.3 billion) by going public in Shanghai.

While the final amount fell short of the $900 million cited in its filing, WuXi’s shares shot up immediately after they became available, surging 44% to $4.89 (RMB31.1) from the IPO price of RMB21.6 — hitting the Shanghai’s daily increase ceiling for newly listed shares.

Tap­ping a biotech boom, Chi­na gene edit­ing CRO Bio­cy­to­gen bags $65M round for glob­al ex­pan­sion

Money is flowing in and out of China, and it’s touching every part of the ecosystem. Today, a Chinese CRO specializing in animal models for gene editing and targeting spread the word that it has reaped a $65 million Series C round led by domestic investors.

Biocytogen says the proceeds will go toward opening up markets both in China and overseas, product R&D, facility construction and talent recruitment. CMB International Capital Corporation, the financial arm of China Merchants Bank, led the round, with support from existing investors like SDIC Venture Capital Management (Series B lead), 3E Bioventures, Cowin Capital and Oriza Holdings.

Eye­ing growth in re­gen­er­a­tive med­i­cine, Fu­ji­film spends $800M on two new mem­bers of its CD­MO busi­ness

In a sign that it’s doubling-down on the contract manufacturing and development business, Japan’s Fujifilm is paying $800 million to acquire two companies specializing in cell culture media.

Both companies, Irvine Scientific Sales Company (ISUS) and IS Japan (ISJ), were previously owned by Japanese petroleum giant JXTG. Cell therapies, including CAR-T and regenerative stem cell therapies, will be a key focus, Fujifilm writes in a detailed statement mapping out its plans.

Glob­al CRO Parex­el woos out­sourc­ing vet­er­an Jamie Mac­don­ald to the helm

Top-10 CRO Parexel is bringing in an experienced hand to take the helm.

Co-founder Josef von Rickenbach — a familiar face in the outsourcing world — is stepping up to concentrate on the chairman’s spot after guiding the company for the past 35 years. And he’s being replaced in the CEO suite by Jamie Macdonald, who not so long ago headed INC Research before its merger with inVentiv and rebranding as Syneos.

Charles Riv­er bags a ri­val CRO play­er in $800M MPI Re­search buy­out

The ongoing consolidation of the CRO business is continuing this morning as Charles River Laboratories $CRL wraps up an $800 million cash deal to acquire MPI Research, one of its biggest competitors in the preclinical sphere.

The early-stage specialists at Charles River saw a sweet lineup of discovery services at the 25-year-old MPI that fits with its own mission in the industry.

Charles River is a buyer in the CRO world. Just weeks ago it acquired KWS BioTest and its in vivo and in vitro discovery services for £15 million (roughly $20 million) up front. And it’s been wracking up a long string of acquisitions over the past few years as top players continue to carve out market share.

Ex-Mer­ri­mack CEO Mul­roy launch­es on­col­o­gy start­up Part­ner Ther­a­peu­tics

Two veterans in this business — the former Merrimack CEO and the ex-CMO of Seragon — have launched a new cancer startup that’s built on an increasingly popular business model in biotech: fill the C-suite first, then the pipeline.

The new venture is called Partner Therapeutics, or PTx, and it’s led by Robert Mulroy, who resigned as Merrimack’s CEO in October 2016. Also at the helm is Debasish Roychowdhury, who’s serving as PTx’s CMO. You might remember Roychowdhury from his time as CMO of Seragon Pharmaceuticals, the company Roche/Genentech acquired for $725 million back in 2014. But Roychowdhury also has a long resume in pharma, previously serving as clinical development VP at GSK, heading Sanofi’s oncology unit, and leading the global oncology regulatory group at Eli Lilly.

Charles Riv­er buys KWS BioTest for $20M, gain­ing im­munol­o­gy dis­cov­ery ca­pac­i­ty and a UK foot­print

In a move to expand its discovery enterprise, Charles River Laboratories $CRL has acquired KWS BioTest for £15 million (roughly $20 million) up front.

A provider of both in vivo and in vitro discovery services, KWS’ speciality spans immuno-oncology and inflammatory and infectious disease, allowing Charles River to further tap into the hot areas of oncology and immunology. The smaller company’s UK base also helps Charles River — headquartered in Wilmington, MA — reach that area.

INC Re­search and in­Ven­tiv Health come un­der Sy­neos Health brand in clos­ing chap­ter of CRO merg­er

Remember the head-turning $7.4 billion merger between INC Research and inVentiv Health last May? Scrap those names, because the company just unveiled their new name today: Syneos Health.

In their former lives, INC was a clinical-focused organization headquartered in Raleigh, NC while Boston-based inVentiv specialized on the commercialization side. According to the CRO, their new brand embodies the “synchronizing” of those capabilities as well as a “new approach to problem-solving.”