Ampersand backs Alliance Pharma and plans ‘aggressive’ growth plan

Private equity firm Ampersand Capital Partners has invested in bioanalytical services contractor, Alliance Pharma.

Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed. Ampersand confirmed that company founder and president, Frank Li, will remain a significant shareholder in Alliance.

Malvern, Pennsylvania-headquartered Alliance provides discovery bioanalytical, DMPK, regulated bioanalysis, biomarker, LC-MS/MS, immunoassay services as well as cell and gene therapy and protein characterization.

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The firm works on all stages of drug development from animal studies through all phases of clinical development. It claims to have a customer base that includes leading global pharma and biotech companies.

Ampersand said it plans to help Alliance execute an “aggressive growth strategy” that will expand its “global reach, scientific capabilities, and operational capacity.”

Growth has been a focus of the CRO. Over the past 12 months it has added three additional laboratories at its headquarters, including a biosafety level 3 (BSL3) facility with capacity to work with highly dangerous bacterial and viral pathogens.

Alliance also increased its workforce by 15%.

Ampersand portfolio

The CRO joins are range of services providers in Ampersand’s current portfolio, including contract API firm Alcami, microbiome-focused manufacturer Arranta Bio and UK-based formulator MedPharm.

Prior to Alliance, Ampersand’s most recent move in the services space was its investment in Leinco Technologies, a manufacturer of life science reagents used in drug discovery research and in vitro diagnostics applications.

Previous Ampersand investments included BioClinica, which it sold to Cinven in 2016, and Chantest, which was acquired by Charles River Laboratories in 2014.

Private equity interest

The Ampersand-Alliance deal is one of a number of private equity industry investments in the CRO sector in recent months. Last week Cinven announced it would buy a majority stake in US CRO BioAgilytix.

Prior to that Livingbridge invested in UK biostatistics and clinical trial software programming firm, Veramed.

And, in July, Goldman Sachs and EQT announced plans to acquire US CRO Parexel from Pamplona capital management.

This story was first published in the Clinical Insider on November 30 2021.

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