Ireland’s ICON has agreed to acquire Aptiv Solutions, the US-based provider of biopharmaceutical and medical-device development services that specialises in adaptive trials, for US$143.5 million in cash.

The deal is subject to certain unspecified closing conditions. Aptiv Solutions was formed in February 2011 through the merger of six biopharmaceutical and medical device services companies including Fulcrum Pharma, Averion International and ClinResearch.

That transaction was led by an investor group that included SV Life Sciences, The Halifax Group and Comvest Partners. 

Commenting on ICON’s acquisition of Aptiv Solutions, Dr. Nuala Murphy, president, ICON Clinical Research Services, said Aptiv’s adaptive-trial capabilities would “further differentiate and enhance our services to help our customers identify the most promising drug candidates earlier”.

Japanese presence

The US company’s presence in Japan would also broaden ICON’s existing capabilities in that market, Murphy noted.

Aptiv Solutions owns Niphix, a full-service, oncology-focused contract research organisation serving both Japanese and international customers. Niphix will be combined with ICON’s current operations in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.

Another of Aptiv’s attractions is its “extensive” experience in managing device trials, “leveraging its adaptive capabilities and regulatory expertise to expedite the development of a wide range of medical devices”, ICON pointed out.

Aptiv has headquarters in Reston Virginia, and operations in 16 countries.

The company’s ADDPLAN software supports the design, simulation and analysis of adaptive trials and is used by the US Food and Drug Aministration, the European Medicines Agency and Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, as well as more than 50 leading pharmaceutical/medical device companies and numerous academic researchers.

Perfect fit

Pat Donnelly, chairman and chief executive of Aptiv Solutions, said ICON was “the perfect fit” for the company.

“Our unique technology and expertise in integrated design and execution of adaptive trials, our strength in medical-device development and our strong position in oncology in Japan are key areas of differentiation,” Donnelly added.