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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Thermo Fisher acquisition to better serve its pharma and biotech clients

Health Industry Hub | April 21, 2021 |

MedTech News: Thermo Fisher Scientific is buying clinical research services provider PPD for a hearty $17.4 billion, and that’s not its only acquisition this year. 

The medical device maker has been spending close to $19 billion in acquisitions over the past four months. This week’s CRO acquisition announcement adds more meat to its pharma and biotech services business. 

PPD operates in close to 50 countries with over 26,000 staff offering a broad range of research and lab services to accelerate drug productivity. The Wilmington-based CRO was the chosen partner of Moderna in testing its COVID-19 vaccine.

“Pharma and Biotech is our largest and fastest growing end market, and our customers value us as a strategic partner and an industry leader. The acquisition of PPD is a natural extension for Thermo Fisher,” said Marc N. Casper, Chairman, President and CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Longer term, we plan to continue to invest in and connect the capabilities across the combined company to further help our customers accelerate innovation and drive productivity, while driving further value for our shareholders.” 

The value of CROs has certainly grown throughout a global pandemic. Drug-testing capabilities have been essential to quickly rolling out treatments and vaccines against the novel coronavirus, while companies continue pushing forward cutting-edge therapies for cancer and other disease.  

Last year, PPD generated revenues of $4.7 billion. In addition to Moderna, it also worked with Gilead on the studies done for remdesivir. 

In January of this year, Thermo Fisher acquired two new businesses. Mesa Biotech was bought out for $450 million with another $100 million on the line if certain milestones are hit. This buy added a slew of rapid point-of-care testing platforms for infectious diseases including SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and B, RSV and Strep A.  

Just four days before that, Thermo Fisher announced the purchase of  Henogen, a viral vector manufacturing business in Belgium. The over $868 million deal added to Thermo Fisher’s push into the gene and cell therapy space begun in 2019 with the $1.7 billion buy of Brammer Bio. The company also announced significant expansion of facilities adding to its cell and gene therapy capabilities. 


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