Uniphar acquires US pharmaceutical advisory group

RRD International provides services in the early stages of a product’s development

Irish-headquartered healthcare services company Uniphar has acquired US-based pharmaceutical advisory group RRD International, the company announced on Tuesday.

RRD provides outsourced strategic consulting and execution services throughout the early stages of a product’s development.

The purchase price includes an upfront payment plus contingent consideration payable upon achievement of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation-based performance targets. The price was not disclosed.

Uniphar said the acquisition is forecast to deliver a return on capital employed to the group in line with Uniphar’s target rate of 12 per cent to 15 per cent within three years.


The existing RRD management team, who are incentivised through the acquisition structure, will all remain part of the business going forward.

Planning for the integration was said to be “already underway”, and Uniphar’s management and project teams will “ensure integration is managed effectively to deliver the identified benefits”.

Uniphar said the RRD team has a depth of experience, from pre-clinical through to licensing, across a broad range of product classes and therapeutic areas and has supported the FDA regulatory approval of over 100 assets.

The acquisition will facilitate the growing requirement for Uniphar’s delivery of US-based expanded access programmes (EAPs).

Supporting EAPs was described by Uniphar as “a natural extension” of RRD’s capabilities as biopharma companies and the FDA work together to accelerate patient access to drugs for serious, often life-threatening diseases.

RRD has a specialist team of almost 40 full-time employees, and is addressing the trend of early drug development shifting to smaller biopharma companies.

Uniphar CEO Ger Rabbette said: "We are excited to announce the acquisition of RRD which adds significantly to our US product access capabilities. Becoming a truly global partner for our clients in this area is an important strategic objective for our group.

“The highly experienced RRD team brings deep US regulatory insights which will further accelerate our growth towards market leadership. The acquisition marks an important strategic milestone for the group and grows our US workforce to close to 170 colleagues.”

Chuck Finn, chairman and CEO of RRD, said the deal would help the company to realise its potential.

“Over the past 18 years, we’ve played a critical role for our partners, helping transform numerous early-stage, innovative product candidates into holistic development programs which leverage our scientific and regulatory driven approach as well as in-house capabilities to accelerate delivery of new medicines to patients with serious diseases,” he said.

“This partnership enables us to realise the potential of RRD’s unique development model while, simultaneously, expanding it to support Uniphar’s product access business in the US.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter