Arsenal Capital Partners, a private equity firm that acquired software and scientific consulting services provider Certara last December, now has purchased Synchrogenix, an independent regulatory-writing CRO, and will merge the two.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Certara’s modeling capabilities are important for Arsenal, as advanced technology in drug development is moving where computer-based modeling is going, in simulating the way a drug behaves and how it is used for dosing,” said Donald A. Deieso, Ph.D., chairman of Certara and co-head of the healthcare group at Arsenal Capital. “Synchrogenix picks up the ball from the time the data is produced in data sets to preparing it for regulatory submission in the U.S. and throughout the world, as regulatory writing is growing in importance and this company is looking to expand.”
For Certara, the acquisition follows four other deals, each with a primary focus on a key phase within the drug discovery and development cycle. Synchrogenix, founded in 1986, provides regulatory writing and related services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. The 50-person staff of writers and editors provides pre-clinical, clinical, CMC and drug safety writing, and other regulatory submission services.
“We see the overall market for our services changing, but in ways that favor our growth,” said Ellen Barrosse, Synchrogenix CEO. “We are still on track to hire 36 more writers this year; we hired 20 writers last year.”
Asked what prompted Arsenal Capital’s purchase and merger with Centara, Barrosse said she was looking beyond running the company to new horizons and last year hired an investment banker to help find potential buyers. Their search led to Arsenal Capital.
“I am 60 years old and want to retire at 62, as I am already involved in Delaware state and national Republican party politics and want more time to pursue those things,” said Barrosse who will continue as CEO of Synchrogenix for the next two to three years.
One change, she said, is the promotion of Synchrogenix executive vice president Kelly Kendle to president.
“We share the same vision for the company and wanted, along with Arsenal, to keep the existing team in place, rather than bring someone in from the outside,” said Barrosse.
Deieso said Arsenal plans to hire a CEO for Certara, which was formed by the acquisition and integration of Tripos, one of the early providers of computer-aided, scientific computational drug discovery capabilities for the identification and optimization of new compounds; Pharsight, best known for its modeling and simulation software and extensive pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) consulting services; and Simcyp, a spin-out company from the University of Sheffield, U.K., that developed a platform to conduct simulations and predict drug behavior in representative virtual patient populations based on in vitro and clinical data. Following its formation, Certara acquired Great Lakes Drug Development, a consulting and development firm focused on early drug development with PK and PD expertise.
With Synchrogenix, Deieso said, “Certara is a constellation of five companies all with one purpose: to pursue computer-based modeling to assist in drug development with synchronized end-to-end submissions of regulatory documents for our clients.”