Charles River sells CDMO QS Pharma to Quotient Clinical for a reported $75M

Less than a year after picking up a Philadelphia-area contract manufacturing operation as part of its $585 million buyout of WIL Research, Charles River Laboratories has unloaded the CDMO.

London-based Quotient Clinical announced the deal Tuesday, saying it bought QS Pharma from Charles River to enlarge its “footprint in the U.S.” Quotient Clinical, which provides early-phase drug development, said it was particularly attracted to QS Pharma’s expertise in high potency, small molecule drugs. The manufacturing facility has an annual commercial capability of producing about 50 million units of solid oral meds and up to 10 million units for liquid products.

Quotient Clinical didn’t give details of the deal, but according to an SEC filing Charles River sold the CDMO for $75 million. The Wilmington, Massachusetts-based Charles River said “ after a strategic review, the company determined that the CDMO business was not optimized within the company’s portfolio at its current scale, and that the capital could be better deployed in other long-term growth opportunities.”

Quotient CEO Mark Egerton said in a statement that “The acquisition of QS Pharma further supports our strategy in the U.S.” Combined with the acquisition this month of SeaView, a Florida-based CRO, he said Quotient will now have about 600 employees and annualized revenues approaching $100 million.

The contract manufacturing industry has seen a lot of consolidation in the last few years. Just in the last six months, Swiss CDMO Lonza pulled the trigger on a $5.5 billion deal to acquire the U.S.-based contract capsule and drug producer Capsugel. CDMO Catalent bought San Diego-based Pharmtek to get spray drying technology, and then struck a deal to buy Canada-based Accucaps, a developer and manufacturer of over-the-counter, high potency and conventional pharmaceutical softgels.