Arsenal Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that invests in middle market healthcare and specialty industrial companies, has acquired Certara, a provider of model-based drug development and data analytics software and consulting services to the biopharmaceutical R&D market.
Certara provides highly specialized and integrated solutions that consist of computer-based models supported by scientific consulting services and span the discovery, preclinical and clinical stages of drug development. Certara's solutions provide clients with significant reductions in the time and expense of bringing new drugs to market by enabling data-driven decisions, which lead to more precisely designed studies with less risk of failure and improved subject safety.
Stephen McLean, a partner at Arsenal and co-head of the firm's healthcare group, said, "The average cost today of researching and developing a new drug is over $1.5 billion and takes 10 to 15 years. This is clearly inconsistent with the imperative of reducing the costs of global healthcare, and Certara will make a difference."
Dr. James Rothman, a recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, who evaluated the Certara acquisition in his role in Arsenal Capital Partners' healthcare group, said Arsenal was interested in the acquisition because of Certara's ability to increase both the effectiveness and efficiency of the drug development process. "Model-based drug development is allowing pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to adopt a more rigorous, quantitative approach to drug development. This allows more informed decisions to be made about which drug candidates to move forward and how to optimize clinical trial designs, which is better for the industry and ultimately for patients," said Rothman, who will become a Certara board member.
Dr. Donald A. Deieso, operating partner and co-head of Arsenal's healthcare group, said, "Technology-driven informatics models will not only result in more cost-effective drug development, but also will be the foundation for delivering personalized medicine and clinical care. We plan to build upon Certara's existing drug development software and consulting services to make the company an even stronger, more versatile partner for its pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers and ultimately execute on Arsenal's vision of personalized medicine."
Arsenal's Certara acquisition follows its 2012 purchase and consolidation into the WIRB-Copernicus Group (WCG) of the Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB), the Copernicus Group IRB and IRBNet. The acquisition of Certara expands the range of services its portfolio companies can offer to pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms and CROs. WCG provides independent IRB services and operates federally-mandated IRB panels.