UPS to acquire global life sciences supply chain leader, Marken

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | November 08, 2016
Business Affairs
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UPS has announced an agreement to acquire Marken, the privately-held worldwide provider of supply chain solutions for the life sciences industry. The terms and conditions of the deal — which is anticipated to close before the end of the year — have not been made public.

Marken will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of UPS and its CEO, Wes Wheeler, will continue to head the business. Wheeler said in a statement that this deal will provide the company with opportunities to improve its service offerings in clinical trial logistics, especially in mature markets.

Marken’s customers include pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organizations and contract manufacturers. The company collects and transports clinical trial material and investigational medicinal products to 49,000 sites, and ships biological samples from the sites to central labs.

The shipments need to be delivered by certain times and at specific temperatures in order to ensure the treatment of patients and the success of the clinical trials. Marken provides services to companies and organizations in all phases of the clinical trial process.

The company has over 650 employees with an asset-light operating structure. There are 44 locations around the world including 10 depots that are compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

UPS has more than 100 facilities dedicated to health care services, with 60 GMP-compliant locations that are strategically placed within global markets. The customers can choose from its many portfolios including UPS Temperature True, UPS Proactive Response, UPS WorldShip and more.

Health care logistics is a strategic market for UPS. In July, the company announced that it broadened its logistic capabilities for clinical trials by implementing an easy-to-use shipping system for clinical investigator sites, expanding the health care control tower network, improving the package intercept and re-icing capabilities, and upgrading to move temperature-sensitive material more efficiently.

This deal is among multiple others that UPS has made in recent years. In April 2013, UPS acquired Hungarian health care logistics company, CEMELOG, and in December 2014 it acquired the Poland-based pharmaceutical logistics company, Poltraf.

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