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Exclusive: Lindsay Goldberg inks debut pharma services deal with MMS

Jun 28, 2022
Illustration of binary code falling into a prescription pill bottle.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Lindsay Goldberg acquired a majority stake in MMS Holdings, a founder-run contract research organization, the private equity firm tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Clinical trials supporting drug development are becoming more complex, which makes executing them more difficult.

  • Canton, Mich.-based MMS leverages data to navigate this dynamic and help pharma and biotechs achieve drug approval more efficiently, says Lindsay Goldberg's Peter Nurnberg.
  • CROs are at an inflection point, Nurnberg explains, with the decentralization of studies and integration of real-world-evidence into trials making studies more complicated.
  • "As you think about what that means in terms of the type of data and analytics that have to be ultimately reported to the FDA, the EMA and other regulators around the world, it’s getting more and more complex and the expertise that’s needed to process it is increasing," he adds.

Details: Founded 16 years ago by CEO Dr. Uma Sharma, who will retain a minority ownership stake, MMS employs an 800-person workforce that spans four continents.

  • It offers regulatory, biostatistics, data management, medical writing and pharmacovigilance services through the clinical trial process, particularly during phase 2 and phase 3 of studies.
  • MMS has completed more than 50 regulatory submissions in the last five years.

Of note: Lindsay Goldberg has a long track record of health care investing, but MMS marks its entry into pharma services.

State of play: The most relevant data-focused CRO in the market is arguably Emmes, which New Mountain Capital recently bought for more than $800 million price tag.

The bottom line: The global CRO services market is projected to surpass $70 billion in 2022, and then is expected to grow between 8 and 12% through 2029, research shows. It's being fueled by an aging and expanding population, rise in disorders, and several years of record biotech R&D funding.

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