Quotient Bioscience Group, the UK-based company that has pursued an aggressive acquisition strategy over the last 18 months to make its mark in early-stage drug development, is promising more of the same after securing investment of around £35 million (US$61.5 million) from private equity firm TA Associates.

Quotient said the new funds would be used to support an expansion strategy based on acquisitions and organic growth. The company “has identified and is in discussions with a number of acquisition candidates with a view to strengthening its growing market position in Europe and North America”, it noted.

Established in early 2007 as Quotient BioResearch Ltd to provide analytical and safety evaluation services and products to the bioscience and sports sectors, the company announced its third acquisition in the drug development services market – and its fourth acquisition overall – last February.

This was BioDynamics Research, a spin-out from Cardiff University in Wales that provides metabolism, bioanalytical and radiochemistry services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries worldwide.

Previously Quotient had snapped up HFL, the forensic laboratory business of the UK’s Horseracing Betting Levy Board but also a leading provider of bioanalytical and biomarker testing services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors; and GR Micro, which offers microbiology and molecular biology services to the same sectors worldwide.

In May, Quotient’s drug development services businesses were consolidated under the name Quotient Bioresearch while the parent company was renamed Quotient Bioscience Group Limited.

Chairman and chief executive officer Paul Cowan said Quotient was now one of Europe’s leading drug development services groups, as well as a major player in the drug surveillance and blood-typing reagents markets.