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Accelrys moves into Pharma QA/QC with VelQuest acquisition

By Natalie Morrison , 05-Jan-2012
Last updated on 05-Jan-2012 at 15:06 GMT

R&D software firm Accelrys says it will speed up the pharma QA/QC process and reduce the compliance risk ten-fold through its $35m takeover of VelQuest.

VelQuest’s paperless lab execution systems – dubbed SmartLab, SmartBatch and gmpLIMS – allows analysts to manage entire lab testing procedures working to cGMP (current good manufacturing practices).

Accelrys says the tech will significantly reduce resources needed for analytical and quality operations, including analyst data acquisition and documentation, data review, supervisor approval, QA investigations, audits and releases.

The platform will be integrated into Accelrys’ equipment, including informatics platform Pipeline Pilot and its electronic lab notebooks (ELN) Symyx.

The deal – an all cash transaction – marks the firm’s first foray into the QA/QC (quality assurance, and quality control) space, in addition to existing modeling and simulation, workflow definition and capture, and informatics capabilities.

Michael Piraino, Accelrys' CFO, told in-PharmaTechnologist: VelQuest solutions extend our software portfolio downstream in the lab-to-market value chain, addressing compliance-intensive industries with solutions that deliver significant productivity improvements, faster cycle times, lower operational costs and reduced compliance risk.

“This is one step closer to the ultimate comprehensive product suite that we expect to offer life science and non-life science companies.”

Accelrys president and CEO Max Carnecchia added that the transaction was part of the company’s growth strategy focussed on bringing new products from lab to market more quickly and efficiently.

Achieving the goals

In a statement from the newly joined firms, a spokesperson said the capabilities afforded by the transaction will speed up “time to innovation with up to ten times reduction in compliance risk”.

When in-PharmaTechnologist asked how this figure was calculated, Piraino said: The product is a software product which increases productivity and reduces cycle times. All of this contributes to significant reduction in compliance risk.”

Similarly, he claimed the ability to ensure “a recipe and related controls are strictly adhered to, or that batches can be economically scaled or that the product yields are consistent with expectations” will cut cycle times and lower operational costs for companies that the software.

Target clientele

Of the type of customer the company will aim its new services at, Piraino told us that large pharmas – most of which Accelrys has established relationships with – are the name of the game.

Ken Rapp, who will remain as president and CEO of VelQuest, added that the takeover will allow it grow more rapidly.

“As part of a company of Accelrys’ size and scale, we are in a better position to serve the data management needs of our customers,” he said.

“With Accelrys’ broad market reach, the utilization of VelQuest’s products beyond life sciences offers significant opportunities.”

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