Major pharmaceutical companies may hog the spotlight when it comes to drug development, but a lot of what they once did in-house a generation ago is now outsourced.
So there are lots of companies in the region that feed off the huge drug industry. One is Bio-Imaging Technologies Inc., a Newtown provider of clinical trials services.
Yesterday, the company, which is in the process of changing its name to BioClinica, said it would acquire a North Carolina services firm called etrials Worldwide Inc. in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at about $10 million.
Both are small publicly traded companies. Bio-Imaging is the bigger of the two with 2008 revenue of $69.1 million. Etrials’ revenue was $16.2 million.
If completed, the acquisition would increase Bio-Imaging’s presence in providing “electronic data capture” services, which replaces the paper notebooks often used to collect data generated during the clinical trials of new medicines.
At nearly $1 billion, electronic data capture is a bigger market than Bio-Imaging’s core business of medical imaging management, said president and CEO Mark L. Weinstein.
Bio-Imaging expanded into that business when it bought King of Prussia’s Phoenix Data Systems Inc. in a $24-million deal in March 2008. Adding Phoenix Data’s 127 employees increased Bio-Imaging’s workforce to 474.
Absorbing etrials’ services and 100 employees in the Raleigh area to what is now Bio-Imaging’s eClinical Services Division gets it closer to the “critical mass” Weinstein believes is important to land business from all but the biggest drug companies.
The transaction involves a tender offer, which is expected to expire on June 15. Etrials’ shareholders would get 0.124 shares of Bio-Imaging common stock, 0.076 shares of Bio-Imaging preferred and 15 cents in cash for each share of etrials. The offer values etrials at 90.68 cents per share.