UK-based Quotient Bioresearch recently acquired Amersham Radiolabeling Service, the radiochemical synthesis operations of GE Healthcare, and plans to invest up to 15 million pounds ($24 million) in a state-of-the-art radiochemicals facility.
Quotient closed the acquisition last month for an undisclosed sum and is rolling the Amersham capabilities into a new strategic business unit, Quotient Chemistry and Metabolism. The new facility, based in Cardiff, Wales, will open in March 2010, timed to coincide with the end of GE Healthcare's radio-labeling operations.
"[GE was] one of the leading--if not the leading--supplier of radio-labeled compounds to the industry. We thought it was a great opportunity for us to go and acquire that business and take it under our ownership," said Mark Egerton, managing director of Quotient Clinical.
The acquisition of GE's radio-labeling business builds on Quotient's already integrated approach to drug development, Egerton said.
"Quotient BioResearch has the ability to support a customer all the way from synthesis to clinic with a really integrative service offering. We can synthesize the radio-labeled drug molecule for a customer, we can do any and all of the necessary preclinical work that's required to support a clinical study, and then we can actually do the clinical study," he said.
This synthesis-to-clinic model simplifies the procurement of regulatory and non-regulatory studies and results in shorter development times, according to Quotient. The addition of Amersham-branded products will help the Cambridgeshire, England, company continue to grow this business model.
"The strategic benefit for us is that we have gained market share at the front end of the supply chain, if you will," Egerton said. "The compelling features of our synthesis-to-clinic service will enable us to take those customers, that market share, and basically sell the additional services within the synthesis-to-clinic platform."
Quotient Chemistry and Metabolism will manufacture custom radio-labeled drug compounds and will be able to offer clients a range of in vivo and in vitro metabolism studies covering all FDA guidelines, including Human AME studies, ivMicrotracerTM, and phase 0 microdosing studies. Stephen Lewinton, formerly Quotient's managing director of drug development services, is the managing director of the new business unit.
Although the deal with GE is final, the transition of the business will be a three-part process to be completed by next March, once Quotient's new facility opens. Amersham's sales, marketing and client management staff have already begun working for Quotient. Operational staff will transition to Quotient at the end of this year and in March 2010 as the building becomes ready for operation. By March, approximately 75 Amersham employees will join Quotient, bringing the company's total employee base to more than 600 people.
"We believe that the advantages of our platform will allow us to become a go-to partner in the industry for radio-labeled studies. In the short to medium term, you are going to see from us a real intensity in terms of communicating these benefits to our customers," Egerton said.