Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the CRO services division of Galapagos NV, which includes both Argenta and BioFocus, for $179 million and future performance payments of as much as $7 million. These businesses provide integrated drug discovery services, with a predominant focus on in vitro capabilities. The acquisition positions Charles River as a full service, early-stage CRO, with in vitro and in vivo capabilities from target discovery through preclinical development. The transaction is expected to close early in 2Q14, subject to customary closing conditions.
Argenta and BioFocus, located in the UK and the Netherlands, provide drug discovery services from target discovery through the delivery of clinic-ready candidates. Their in vitro expertise includes medicinal chemistry, target discovery, and complex in vitro biology, as well as therapeutic area expertise in respiratory, inflammation, oncology, and CNS diseases.
Argenta and BioFocus will add more than 340 scientists to Charles River’s scientific team. David Smith, currently chief executive officer of Galapagos Services, will continue to lead Argenta and BioFocus as corporate vice president, In Vitro Discovery Services.
James C. Foster, Chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Charles River Labs, said, “The acquisition of Argenta and BioFocus is precisely in line with our strategy to build a broader portfolio of essential products and services to support the drug discovery and development continuum, and the increasing virtualization of the biopharmaceutical industry. Argenta and BioFocus’s upstream in vitro capabilities will be an excellent fit with our in vivo expertise, and will enable us to engage with our clients earlier in the drug discovery process. This enhances the value we can provide to our clients because it allows them to outsource integrated drug discovery and early-stage development programs to a single provider. We believe that this acquisition expands our unique drug discovery and early-stage development focus and advances Charles River’s position as a market leader in the fast-growing outsourced discovery services market.”