Clinical research company Science 37 announced Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by telehealth provider eMed in a deal valued at approximately $38 million. Under the agreement, eMed will commence a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Science 37 stock for $5.75 per share in cash, representing a 21.3% premium over Science 37’s share price last week.
The deal will allow eMed to leverage Science 37’s remote clinical trial capabilities and proprietary Metasite technology platform to expand patient access and accelerate enrollment for clinical studies. Science 37’s decentralized clinical trial model enables patients to participate from home via telehealth, rather than having to travel to physical trial sites.
This acquisition comes at a pivotal time, as the biotech industry embraces virtual and hybrid trial designs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Science 37 was an early pioneer in decentralized trials, giving the company a first-mover advantage. According to Science 37 CEO David Coman, “eMed provides the greatest value to our stockholders, customers, patients, and employees. Stockholders will receive a premium, trial sponsors will gain greater access to patients, faster enrollment, and confidence in the Company’s capital position.”
For eMed, the deal significantly expands its digital healthcare footprint, adding Science 37’s network of telehealth investigators, coordinators, and software platform to its existing suite of at-home diagnostics and virtual care services. eMed was an early mover as well, having developed the first at-home COVID-19 test kit in 2020. Since then, the company has expanded into at-home testing and treatment for flu, UTIs, and other conditions.
The combined resources of both companies will provide end-to-end support for decentralized clinical trials, from patient recruitment to at-home sample collection to telemedicine visits. This could be a game-changer in improving patient diversity in trials and enabling studies focused on rare diseases or targeted therapies.
According to Science 37’s latest financial update, the company expects approximately $58-59 million in revenue for 2023 and over $50 million in cash reserves as of December 31, 2023. The company projected 2023 revenue of $50-60 million.
Science 37’s board of directors unanimously approved the acquisition deal with eMed. Major Science 37 shareholders, including Redmile Group, LLC, have also agreed to tender their shares in support of the acquisition.
The deal is expected to close in Q1 2024, pending tender of a majority of outstanding Science 37 shares and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Once completed, Science 37 will become a privately held subsidiary of eMed.
This Science 37 acquisition comes on the heels of eMed’s parent company, Evernow Inc., raising $100 million in Series B funding last March. The current deal highlights continued investor appetite for telehealth and digital health companies that are expanding access to care.
In fact, Noble Capital Markets will be hosting a Virtual Healthcare Conference from on April 17-18, 2024, featuring presentations from emerging growth companies in the healthcare sector. The conference will provide a platform for companies to showcase their innovations in digital health, telemedicine, medical devices and more.
The Science 37 and eMed deal also demonstrates the growing intersection between telehealth and clinical research. Other companies like Medable and Excelya are exploring how hybrid and decentralized trials can boost patient recruitment and retention. By meeting patients where they are, virtual trials enable more representative, diverse study populations.
While some industry experts say a hybrid approach will become the standard, decentralized trials are still a relatively new model. This acquisition provides eMed with a first-mover advantage, but expect other digital health companies to underscore their clinical trial offerings moving forward. In the meantime, all eyes will be on eMed and Science 37 as they pioneer the next generation of virtual clinical research.