When Express Scripts acquired its close competitor, Medco Health Solutions, in 2012, it was known that Express Scripts would be putting United BioSource Corp., a Medco subsidiary, on the block. It’s taken a while, but now a major part of that action has been accomplished: Symphony Technology Group, a Palo Alto, CA, private equity company, has purchased multiple parts of UBC and is setting up that acquisition as a new portfolio company, Evidera, based in Bethesda, MD. No purchase price was disclosed, but when Medco bought UBC in 2010, it paid approximately $750 million for the business.
Evidera comprises the health economics, health outcomes, market access, and retrospective epidemiology and data analytics divisions of UBC. That leaves businesses focused on peri- and post-approval studies, pharmacovigilance, patient assistance, clinical research software (Bracket) and a medical communications unit (UBC Envision Group) still under the UBC umbrella.
"We believe the businesses we are acquiring, as well as the experts that lead our teams in these capabilities, are the best in the industry at understanding evidence and creating value for life sciences companies,” Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, Chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group. “We are investing in them as a fundamental building block for us to expand these capabilities through innovation to a broader set of customers, both within life sciences and also to the broader health ecosystem."
Surprisingly, Symphony Technology Group is setting up Evidera as an independent unit, separate from another aggregation of acquisitions, Symphony Health Solutions, which was formed last year from ImpactRx, TargetRx, AlphaDetail and Source Healthcare Analytics. That unit is focused on commercial activity, promotion and advertising analytics and related market research, while Evidera seems to be oriented more toward health outcomes and reimbursement issues. Both count pharma manufacturers as clients, although Evidera could have additional clients among healthcare providers and healthcare policymakers. As healthcare reform gathers momentum and evidence-based healthcare becomes the norm, outcomes-related research and traditional sales, marketing and market research become a common goal.