As Biovail Corporation moves towards completing its US$3.3 billion merger with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the Canadian company has sold off its non-core contract research division (CRD) to Lambda Therapeutic Research, an international contract research organisation based in Ahmedabad, India.

Lambda acquired the Biovail CRD’s business and assets through its Canadian subsidiary, Lambda Therapeutic Research Inc (Lambda Canada). The Indian company did not disclose financial details of the transaction, although Biovail said it had brought in net cash proceeds of around US$6.0 million.

The CRD's focus is on Phase I trials, bioequivalence and pharmacokinetic studies, and bioanalysis. According to Lambda, the acquisition will give it a global infrastructure of more than 600 beds dedicated to Phase 1 clinical pharmacology, as well as bioequivalence resources for US abbreviated new drug application/505b2 filings, more than 45 LC-MS (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry)/MS instruments and “the full spectrum of clinical data management and biostatistical services”.

Biovail noted that CRD was no longer considered a core business in view of the company’s transition to its speciality central nervous system strategy. With the sale of CRD, Biovail has achieved its target of more than US$70 million in total gross proceeds from the divestiture and monetisation of non-core assets.

As a result of the acquisition, Lambda is projecting gross revenues of more than US$50 million in 2011, building on strong growth in its four principal territories of India, the UK, Poland and North America.

Lambda Canada will now operate two facilities with over 46,000 square feet dedicated to clinical/bioanalytical services in Toronto. The facilities house six study clinics (including a 12-bed, Phase I first-in-human unit) and have a total capacity for 194 beds, as well as a clinical contact centre and a subject screening unit, a fully equipped bioanalytical laboratory and a full-service clinical data management department.

The acquisition also means Lambda “has the enviable track-record of having been audited with systems and procedures in full compliance with the regulations of the US Food and Drug Administration, Therapeutic Products Directorate (Health Canada), European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products and other comparable foreign regulatory bodies”, it pointed out.

Cost-effective solutions

A major driver for the deal, the company said, was “the constant demand and requests from Indian clientele for cost-effective solutions with international expertise”. The acquisition allows Lambda to take advantage of the expedited Canadian regulatory filing process, “which will be well within the reach of Lambda’s clients across the world”, it commented.

Biovail’s merger with Valeant, which the companies say will create a market leader in speciality pharmaceuticals and especially central nervous system drugs, dermatology and branded generics, with an emphasis on growth in Canada and emerging markets, is expected to close before the end of the year.