Simcyp, a spin-off from the UK’s University of Sheffield that specialises in virtual population-based pharmacokinetic modelling and simulation, is being acquired by translational life sciences company Certara for US$32 million.

The US company, which provides a broad range of software products and services aimed at improving the efficiency of drug discovery and development, said adding Simcyp to its portfolio would provide “key, extensible technologies that support Certara’s translational science initiatives”.

The acquisition is conditional only on Certara completing the necessary funding arrangements and is expected to close on 29 February 2012, noted Fusion IP, which will realise around US$6.4 million in cash from the sale of its 20% shareholding in Simcyp.

This is the UK-based Fusion’s first significant exit from a growing portfolio of companies formed from university partnerships.

According to Fusion IP, Simcyp turned a profit of £1.9 million after tax in the financial year to July 2011.

End-to-end solution

As a Certara portfolio company, Simcyp will continue to offer platforms for modelling and simulating pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in virtual human populations and virtual laboratory animals (rats, dogs and mice), the companies said.

Simcyp will also continue to provide expert consultancy services, run educational workshops, and support academic and drug regulatory research through not-for-profit simulator licences.

The company's preclinical simulation technologies “fit perfectly between Certara’s existing discovery and clinical research offerings, thus enabling an end-to-end solution”, commented Jim Hopkins the latter’s president and chief executive officer.

“For example, this means broader capabilities to predict drug disposition as a function of molecular structure, and the ability to utilizse a single unified suite of tools to facilitate preclinical and clinical PBPK [physiologically based pharmacokinetic] and PKPD [pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic] modeling and analysis.”

Broader expertise

John Evans, managing director of Simcyp, said the deal would allow his company to focus on its core competences while “drawing on the broader drug development expertise available within the Certara family”.

Clients from across the spectrum of drug discovery and development “will have access to an expanded and integrated range of products and services, which will be enhanced by combining the attributes of Tripos, Simcyp, and Pharsight science and functionality”, he added. 

Certara was formed in November 208 from the US$57 million acquisition of Pharsight Corporation by Tripos International.

The transaction brought together Tripos, which supplies drug discovery informatics products and services, with Pharsight, whose speciality is software, strategic and regulatory services to optimise clinical development.

Certara retained Tripos’ base in St Louis, US and incorporated both Tripos and Pharsight as portfolio companies.