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  November 22nd, 2016 | Written by

UPS to Acquire Global Clinical Supply Chain Provider

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  • UPS announces agreement to acquire privately held Marken.
  • Marken to access UPS integrated global network for further efficiency.
  • Acquisition positions UPS as leader in clinical trials supply chain solutions.

UPS will acquire Marken, a global provider of supply chain solutions to the life sciences industry. The transaction, which provides UPS with growth opportunities across the life sciences customer base, is expected to close by December 31, subject to regulatory approvals.

Clinical trials require strict regulatory compliance, streamlined logistics services and global reach. Marken operates a global network of clinical supply chain services to meet the increasingly complex demands of its clients. The acquisition of Marken follows multiple UPS acquisitions that have expanded the company’s healthcare logistics services portfolio.

Pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organizations and contract manufacturers rely on Marken for collection and transportation of clinical trial material and investigational medicinal products to 49,000 clinical trial sites, as well as the shipment of biological samples from these sites to central laboratories. These shipments are time- and temperature-sensitive, and their rapid, on-spec delivery is a key factor in the treatment of patients and the success of the clinical trial. The company has more than 650 employees with an asset-light operating structure and 44 locations worldwide, including 10 depots that are compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Marken provides high-touch service to pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and contract research organizations engaged in all phases of the clinical trials process.

Healthcare logistics is a strategic market for UPS,” said Teresa Finley, UPS chief marketing and business services officer. “Our acquisition of Marken strengthens our portfolio and demonstrates our commitment to customers.”

“We plan to offer new solutions to our customers and generate further growth opportunities for UPS,” said Wes Wheeler, Marken’s chief executive officer. “UPS’s capabilities, particularly in mature markets, will provide many opportunities for us to enhance our service offerings in clinical trials logistics. With UPS, we will improve our efficiency, while continuing to provide our clients with the high-touch, personalized services that they have come to expect from us.”

Wheeler will continue to lead the Marken business, which will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of UPS.

“UPS is focused on the logistics complexity of clinical trials, and the acquisition fits well into our long-term growth plans in the biopharma segment,” said Finley. “Marken’s significant industry expertise and flexible network, combined with UPS’s vast integrated global air and ground networks, will provide the life sciences industry with an attractive portfolio of global logistics options.”

UPS offers an array of specialized services for healthcare and life science companies. In July, UPS announced expanded logistics capabilities for clinical trials. The company’s network includes temperature-sensitive storage and transportation (from ambient and controlled-room temperature, to frozen and cryogenics), 24-hour monitoring and security.

UPS now has more than 100 healthcare-dedicated facilities with 60 GMP-compliant locations strategically positioned within global markets.