Citoxlab Group to acquire Solvo Biotechnology

Citoxlab Group, which offers a range of preclinical and specialty services, has announced it attends to acquire Solvo Biotechnology, a CRO specialising in drug transporter studies and the assessment of Drug-Drug Interactions (DDI).

The closing of this operation will take place within the next month. Financial details were not disclosed.

Founded in 1999, Solvo Biotechnology is a specialist in the field of drug transporter research. A field that is growing rapidly as the investigation of the transport mechanisms becomes pivotal for drug development.

Alongside metabolism data, a thorough knowledge of the drug candidates’ transport is key to identifying potential DDI, in addition to developing an understanding of their pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and safety profile. Transporter studies are a regulatory requirement for entering large clinical trials and then requesting a marketing authorisation from health regulatory agencies.

Through this new acquisition, Citoxlab reinforces its position in the non-clinical CRO field, with consolidated sales of $167 million (€136 million) and a staff of 1,300, spread over nine sites – France (Evreux and Saint-Nazaire), Canada (Laval and Boisbriand), the US (Kansas-City), Denmark (Copenhagen) and Hungary (Veszprém, and now Budapest and Szeged).

Dr Jean-Francois Le Bigot, President and CEO of Citoxlab Group said: ‘The acquisition of Solvo Biotechnology will allow us to offer the most elaborated in vitro Drug Metabolism and PharmacoKinetics (DMPK) services to our customers. These are fully complementary with the in vivo DMPK studies we already provide from our sites in France, the US and Canada. As an example, using in vitro human hepatocytes, the assessment of transport and metabolism is possible at a very early stage of development. These investigations are increasingly included in the selection of lead candidates; in vitro inter-species comparisons now contribute significantly to the selection of the relevant species in safety studies. Naturally, the international scientific reputation of the Solvo Biotechnology team, which performs more than 50 per cent of its projects for US customers, and the dynamism and entrepreneurship of its founder Ernö Duda, also founder of the Hungarian Biotechnology Association, were key criteria in our decision to acquire Solvo Biotechnology.’

Ernö Duda, President and CEO of Solvo Biotechnology said: We are very proud that a leader like Citoxlab agreed to invest in our company. We were well aware of their reputation as a science-driven CRO, in particular for strategic decisions and also the respect they have demonstrated for the team and the culture of the companies acquired in the past. I am very confident that joining Citoxlab Group is a good opportunity for the future international development of Solvo Biotechnology and its team. We have already identified several concrete short-term scientific and business development opportunities which will allow us to offer our clients an even broader portfolio of assays.’

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