American multinational QuintilesIMS, the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services, has identified itself as the buyer of Halifax-based startup STI Technologies Inc.
The U.S. company put out a statement Wednesday confirming that it closed the purchase of STI on Feb. 10, though it declined to reveal the details of the transaction. Allnovascotia.com reported last week that the price was about $200 million.
“The combination of our capabilities will enable our customers to deliver a better patient experience,” said QuintilesIMS in a statement. “By providing the support patients need, a measurable improvement to health outcomes is possible, driving efficiency and savings in the healthcare system at the same time.”
The buyer said it does not foresee any changes of the local leadership, personnel or operations in Halifax, which means that CEO Tim Gillis looks set to retain top spot at the local organization. QuintilesIMS, which has dual headquarters in Connecticut and North Carolina, declined to grant interviews right now.
STI Technologies started out in 2002 to solve a problem for the pharmaceutical industry by simplifying the way pharma companies distribute samples of new products. Rather than shipping out small samples to doctors and have them hand them out to patients, the STI platform allows drug companies to send physicians smart cards they can hand out to patients, who take them to a pharmacy along with a prescription to receive the drug.
As well as cutting costs and improving safety, the STI platform allows for an orderly record of how the sample was distributed. The pharma companies that use the product include such global giants as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.
It is now part of QuintilesIMS , a company that has a market capitalization of US$19 billion (C$25 billion), and 50,000 employees in 100 countries. The company was formed last year when Quintiles Transnational and IMS Health merged in an all-stock deal forming the leading company in their sector. For the past three years, the company has been named in Fortune magazine’s list of the most admired companies in the world. QuintilesIMS’s literature stresses that it uses data and information to improve the development and delivery of healthcare products while protecting the privacy of patients.
Though the companies are saying virtually nothing about the STI deal, what is known is that one of the world’s leading providers of healthcare data suddenly has a 100-person operation in Halifax. STI now has access to capital to grow more strongly in Atlantic Canada, as has been the case with most exits by tech companies in the region.
STI previously received a $17 million capital injection from Imperial Capital Group of Toronto in 2013, though most of that money was used to buy out minority shareholders. The company has continued to grow since then, adding staff and increasing revenues.
The transaction will likely also prove to be a win for the bio-research community in Halifax, especially that of Dalhousie University. It can’t hurt this group that one of the world’s leading providers of medical data has a presence in the city, bringing with it world-leading technologies and information.