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LabCorp to acquire clinical trials firm Chiltern for $1.2bn

LabCorp has agreed to acquire specialty contract research organization (CRO) Chiltern for nearly $1.2bn in an all-cash deal to expand its oncology offerings.

The transaction will help LabCorp create leading expertise in the oncology segment by combining the extensive experience of Covance in late phase with the deep expertise of Chiltern in early clinical development.

It will also provide a highly complementary customer base for LabCorp which would place Covance as a key partner to the top 20 biopharma companies.

The acquisition is also anticipated to consolidate LabCorp’s position as a global life sciences firm that offers new diagnostic services and solutions for drug development.

LabCorp chairman and CEO David King said: “Our acquisition of Covance has demonstrated the value of combining diagnostic and CRO capabilities, expertise, data and leadership.

“The addition of Chiltern furthers our strategy and will provide us with enhanced capabilities across a broader client base as we continue to innovate and grow.”

Further, the acquisition is expected to help LabCorp form a market-leading CRO having considerable global presence with over 20,000 employees all around the world.

Post acquisition, Chiltern will come under the Covance segment of LabCorp which undertakes clinical trials for drug manufacturers.

The New York-based Covance was acquired by LabCorp for $6.2bn in 2015.

Chiltern CEO Jim Esinhart said joining LabCorp and Covance will allow the CRO to grow its collaborative approach to offer better, more personalized treatments to market for patients every day.

Esinhart added: “Customers will benefit from the expanded capabilities this provides and our employees will have a greater opportunity to propel research into the future with strong, supportive partners."

Subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, the transaction is likely to be completed in the fourth quarter.

Image: Clinical trials firm Chiltern to operate under LabCorp’s Covance segment, post acquisition. Photo: courtesy of jk1991 /