Diagnostics company Laboratory Corp of America said on Monday it would buy privately owned contract research organization (CRO) Chiltern International for nearly $1.2 billion in cash to expand its oncology offerings.
The CRO industry is undergoing a wave of consolidation as pharmaceutical companies strive to cut costs, reduce clinical trial times and expand their research and development presence.
Chiltern will become part of LabCorp's Covance unit, which carries out trials for drugmakers.
LabCorp acquired Covance in 2015. In recent years, many of the largest pharma contractors have changed hands, often at lofty valuations.
The company said the deal would create leading oncology expertise, leveraging Covance's extensive experience in late-stage studies with Chiltern's early-stage development offerings.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year.