July 15, 2019

Marken expands clinical trials logistics network in central and eastern Europe

UPS unit acquires medical logistics firms in Italy, Austria, and Hungary.

By DC Velocity Staff

Pharmaceutical logistics specialist Marken has acquired three European logistics companies as the UPS Inc. business unit expands its logistics footprint in Italy, Austria, and Hungary.

The Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based firm said it has acquired Italy's HRTL, Austria's HETO, and Hungary's Der Kurier. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The three firms operate offices in Milan and Rome, Italy, in Vienna, Austria, and in Gyor (near Budapest), Hungary, to deliver 7,000 clinical trial shipments per month. The purchases bring Marken's total network of sites to 51, including 10 clinical storage depots that meet the industry's good manufacturing practices (GMP) standards.

The acquisitions expand Marken's core clinical trials logistics opportunities in central and eastern Europe, the company said. According to Marken, the region is an important sources of drug manufacturing, particularly those drugs which are manufactured in sterile format. The new investment was necessary because sterile drug products are particularly sensitive and require specific temperature conditions during transport to ensure stability, the firm said.

In addition, central and eastern Europe are important locations for the recruitment of clinical trial patients, and the acquisition further strengthens Marken's biologic sample services in the region. Marken's hybrid services, which employ the use of UPS' network and airline, will be offered to and from gateway airports in Rome, Milan, Vienna, and Budapest.

The move is Marken's latest expansion of its offerings for clinical trials shipments, following its announcement in February that it would add to its Philadelphia package facility while launching a service for reusable specialty packaging units, and its growth in 2018 of its FDA-compliant Latin American shipping hubs.

Marken was acquired by UPS in 2016, and within a year announced it would use the shipping and logistics giant's fleet of airplanes to handle its biological sample shipping service.

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