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LabCorp to acquire Clearstone Central Labs

Thursday, June 2, 2011

U.S.-based diagnostic testing specialist Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) is tapping into a global network of central laboratories as well as support tools for clinical trial management and personalized medicine, by acquiring existing partner Clearstone Central Laboratories, according to PharmaTimes.

No financial terms were disclosed from the definitive agreement, which consolidates a global collaboration announced by LabCorp and Clearstone in August 2010. The new transaction is expected to close in the second quarter. Clearstone is privately owned by investment firm Czura Thornton, which acquired the former MDS Pharma Services Central Labs business in November 2009.

As with the two companies’ strategic alliance, which operated through LabCorp’s Esoterix Clinical Trials Services division, acquiring Clearstone gives LabCorp access to Clearstone’s global network of central laboratories, including sites in China, France, Singapore and Canada.

LabCorp also will take on Clearstone’s central laboratory protocol management system, APOLLO CLPM, which offers clients real-time access to global data, a strengthened chain of custody, automated sample stability monitoring, and “guaranteed consistency” across all lab sites.

According to LabCorp, the combined entity will have the largest available biomarker assay portfolio, with globally harmonized and state-of-the-art testing platforms in pharmacogenomics, microbiology, immunohistochemistry, allergy testing, cytogenetics and flow cytometry.

“This acquisition fully combines the complementary strengths of the Clearstone and LabCorp clinical trials businesses to support drug development,” said David King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp.

The deal extends LabCorp’s global footprint and service capabilities in key geographic regions such as Asia Pacific, while advancing the company’s companion diagnostics and personalized medicine strategy, King said.

“Clearstone has already been working closely with LabCorp’s Esoterix division under a strategic collaboration agreement, which has resulted in a number of client success stories,” said Clearstone CEO Lewis Cameron.

Last September, LabCorp paid $925 million in cash for Genzyme’s genetic testing business. The Massachusetts-based biotech, which has since been acquired by Sanofi, was offloading it as part of a three-part divestiture of non-core operations announced in May 2010.


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