Ex-Blackstone India co-head Mathew Cyriac’s fund buys 80% stake in Accutest Research Laboratories


Florintree Advisors, an alternate investment firm set up by former Blackstone India co-head, Mathew Cyriac has picked up an 80% stake in Accutest Research Laboratories, one of India’s leading independent clinical research organizations in a near Rs 100 crore deal.

Existing key shareholders are Greater Pacific Capital, an India-focused private equity fund, and co-founder of Accutest, Satish Sawant.

“Accutest is a well-established pharma services company. Given the pharma patent expiry trends, increased R&D outsourcing by pharma companies, and cost advantage of Indian CROs, we believe that the company has high growth potential,” said Mathew Cyriac of Florintree Advisors.

Accutest has offices in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Vadodara. It employs around 450 highly skilled people, and more than 50% of the revenues are from exports.

“Our ambition is to build a full-service global CRO and support our pharma customers to launch new products on time and cost-effectively. Having an investor like Florintree will help us achieve our ambition,” said Satish Sawant, CEO of Accutest Research. “We were one of the first CROs in India to launch Biologics. We then launched clinical data services. Given that, Accutest now has a strong platform to drive growth in these emerging areas.”

In the next five years, drug patents with sales worth $170 billion will expire globally, driving demand for cost-effective generic drugs. Among the drugs losing patent, the share for specialty medicines like Biologics, inhalers, injectables, and transdermal is 54%, and the remaining 46% is oral. As a result, Accutest services are increasingly focused on specialty medicines.

Post-COVID, several Indian pharma companies have started focusing on biosimilars.

The drug discovery process (clinical trials) is becoming highly data-driven. In addition, regulation is increasing on post-marketing activities resulting in the growth of services like pharmacovigilance, which is technology-driven. These trends are opening up new technology growth opportunities for Indian CROs.

“Future growth will be driven by operational excellence, focus on technology-based innovation, and implementation of KPI-driven ESG initiatives,” said Trinadha Babu and Suneel Regulla of Hansa Equity Partners, who are growth partners and co-investors in the deal.

M&A and PE deals have been active in the CRO space in India. Some recent examples are the acquisition of Bioneeds by Veeda in 2021 to enter the pre-clinical segment and the buyout of Navitas Life Sciences by HIG Capital in 2021. In addition, CX Partners owned Veeda filed for an 831cr IPO in 2021.


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