US life sciences giant snaps up UK counterpart

By Mark Ellis

A successful UK-headquartered life sciences advisory has been acquired by a NASDAQ-listed US firm in a highly significant deal for the sector.

Kinapse, which was established in 2005 and works with major biopharmaceutical companies, has more than 600 employees across the United Kingdom, India and the United States.

It has been acquired by Syneos Health, Inc. as the part of the global biopharmaceutical consultancy’s drive to expand its operations in key growth markets – and the deal doubles the company’s footprint in Europe. Syneos itself was created through the merger of two industry leading companies – INC Research and inVentiv Health – and employs than 23,000 staff to support customers in more than 110 countries.

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Kinapse was previously owned by Hg, a specialist investor based in the UK, and law firm Burness Paull advised the management on their exit.

Mark Ellis, Head of Corporate Finance at Burness Paull, said: “This is an excellent example of a private equity backed company driving very positive deal activity.  In addition to PE investments and exits, we have also been involved in a good number of acquisitions by private equity backed companies in recent months, for example the acquisitions of Endsleigh Insurance and ECO Integrated Property Solutions.  All of these deals demonstrate that private equity investment supports business dynamism and growth.”

Dawn Marriott-Sims, Executive Chairman of Kinapse, said: “We’ve been following Syneos Health as the company has forged a new model for accelerating therapies to market, and we look forward to adding further depth to its end-to-end offering. We see growth opportunities driven by the integration of our solutions and the ability to tap into Syneos Health’s broad customer base.

“On behalf of the Kinapse management team, I want to extend my thanks to our dedicated employees for their tireless work that has made this combination possible, as well as Hg, whose support as an investor has been transformational over the last several years.  The team from Burness Paull were also a delight to work with, giving outstanding support – of particular note was the great sense of trust that built up between us.”

The addition of Kinapse’s capabilities will expand Syneos Health’s regulatory, safety and pharmacovigilance consulting and operations, and also deepens the scale and scope of Syneos Health’s clinical trial transparency, medical writing and quality operations and consulting capabilities in the areas of R&D and clinical operations, medical affairs, market access and quality and compliance.

Alistair Macdonald, Chief Executive Officer of Syneos Health, said: “As customers increasingly face risk, competition and rising development costs, the innovative, technology-enabled solutions provided by Kinapse are seeing increasing demand.  Through this combination we continue to inject new and enriched high-value solutions into the industry’s only end-to-end offering, unlocking value for all of our biopharmaceutical customers.” 

Notes to editors:

 Burness Paull is one of Scotland’s largest law firms employing more than 500 people, including 67 partners, across its key locations of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

A full service international firm, its core sector areas include Corporate,Property and Infrastructure, Financial, Energy and Technology.

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