Life Sciences

Curia to Acquire US-based LakePharma, Expanding End-to-End R&D Capabilities and Scale for Biologics

Curia, formerly AMRI, a leading contract research, development and manufacturing organization, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire LakePharma Inc., a privately held biologics drug discovery, clinical research, development and manufacturing organization with operations in California, Massachusetts, and Texas.

Established in 2009 in the Bay Area, LakePharma applies its range of technology platforms to advance projects from discovery to development to manufacturing, namely cell-line development, bioexpression systems and viral vector production systems. Almost a quarter of its employees hold Ph.D.s, bringing expertise in all major biologics segments: mammalian, microbial, plasmid DNA, mRNA, monoclonal antibodies, and viral vector, including cell and gene therapy. LakePharma has contributed to the development of more than 200 therapeutic or diagnostic products and served more than 1,500 customers, including 22 of the top 25 global biopharmaceutical companies.

After the transaction close, the combined company will provide deep expertise in both large and small molecules from drug discovery through drug substance manufacturing, sterile injectable formulation and fill-finish production. LakePharma’s six facilities and 235 employees will join with Curia’s 21 sites and more than 3,100 employees to offer clients an end-to-end partnership in drug discovery, formulation and process development as well as drug substance and drug product clinical and commercial manufacturing. Curia recently announced it has also signed a definitive agreement to acquire Integrity Bio, a privately held formulation and fill-finish organization headquartered in Camarillo, California.

“LakePharma will expand our integrated approach to provide biotech and pharmaceutical companies with small and large molecule research, development and manufacturing solutions,” said Curia Chairman & CEO John Ratliff. “Funding and innovation in the biotech sector remains strong. Our combined capabilities will enable us to partner with our customers by seamlessly providing LakePharma’s multi-modality innovation and speed along with fill-finish solutions from Curia. Our agreements with LakePharma and Integrity Bio demonstrate our commitment to expanding and deepening our biologics capabilities to help our customers advance from curiosity to cure.”

Hua Tu, Ph.D., founder and CEO of LakePharma, said: “LakePharma is delighted to join the Curia family. Over the last 12 years, we have built a strong brand as ‘The Biologics Company,’ a talented and dedicated employee team, and a loyal and supportive client base. We are excited to join Curia’s global network, including commercial manufacturing capabilities, in delivering end-to-end integrated biologics solutions to our pharma and biotech clients.”

RBC Capital Markets, LLC is serving as exclusive financial adviser to Curia and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP is serving as Curia’s legal counsel. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as financial adviser to LakePharma, and Fenwick & West LLP is serving as LakePharma’s legal counsel. The transaction, which is subject to standard and customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the third quarter. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.