Local life sciences, pharma consultancy acquired by German firm

April 24, 2017

Safis Solutions LLC, a 15-year-old Indianapolis consulting firm that helps life science companies move their products through the government regulatory process, has been acquired by PharmaLex, a large Germany-based consulting company, the companies announced Monday.

Safis, which has 25 employees, plans to stay in Indianapolis and operate under the same name. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CEO John Nadelinand said the deal could help Safis grow by giving it access to PharmaLex’s broader portfolio of consulting and scientific services, which include pharmaceutical development, drug safety and regulatory affairs.

“We would have access to their network, and they would have access to our client base,” Nadelin said.

He said Safis was not looking for a buyer, but the company was approached earlier this year by PharmaLex, based in Friedrichsdorf, Germany, which was looking to strengthen its U.S. foothold. PharmaLex, with 23 offices in 12 countries, has limited U.S. operations. The company has 550 employees, or more than 20 times as many as Safis, but only 27 in the U.S.

“The deal moved fairly quickly,” Nadelin said.

PharmaLex said the acquisition would fit well, rounding out its European expertise with an established company in a major market.

“It will help establish us as a key provider in the U.S.,” Thomas Dobmeyer, CEO of PharmaLex, said in a written statement.

Safis was founded in 2002 by Ping Poulsen, a Chinese native who formerly worked for conglomerate Halliburton Co. and did graduate studies at Oklahoma State University in health law, federal regulations and statistics. Poulsen will remain as an informal advisor, Nadelin said.

Safis’ clients include Indianapolis-based drugmaker Eli Lilly and Stereotaxis, a maker of medical robotic systems based in St. Louis.

The company declined to disclose annual revenue, but a 2009 IBJ profile of the company listed it as $4 million.

Safis was one of several life sciences and tech startups that emerged last decade from the Emerging Technologies Center at Indiana University's Research and Technology Corp.



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