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Concept Life Sciences

Concept Life Sciences

Carving out a fully-integrated drug discovery and development CRO enabling Life Science leaders to get innovative drugs safely to the clinic.


Life Sciences

Date acquired

March 2023

Deal type

Carve out from a listed entity




Derbyshire, UK


Concept Life Sciences (CLS) is a leading UK-based contract research organisation (CRO) providing research and development services to global pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, ranging from virtual biotechs to blue-chips.

As Limerston’s 4th investment within the Life Science space, we recognised CLS as having strong expertise across the drug discovery and development space within Europe, as well as a deeply invested asset base across five UK state-of-the-art site locations.

Boasting over 30 years of experience and a PhD-rich workforce of around 300 scientists, Limerston views CLS as being well positioned to benefit from market growth in the CRO sector, especially within the high-growth therapeutic areas of immunology, oncology, and inflammation, where CLS has developed world-class capabilities.

As a carveout from Spectris plc, CLS’s highly recurring revenues are achieved through a strong breadth of services ranging from drug discovery and early development, through to API manufacturing at multi kilogram scale under good manufacturing practice (GMP). We aim to accelerate their capabilities expansion to a full suite of end-to-end discovery and development services through further investment in scientific leadership and a specialism focussed buy-and-build strategy.

Limerston had been tracking the development of CLS ever since its acquisition from Spectris plc back in 2018 and see a rare opportunity for significant EBITDA growth through a combination of targeted sales initiatives and operational effectiveness enabling the business to realise its significant latent growth potential.

What we are doing

Historically CLS has been well invested in across its talent pool, instrumentation, and asset base. However, having been part of a much larger entity whose core focus did not lie in the service offerings of CLS, we have identified significant opportunities for value creation through improvements in operational effectiveness and dedicated group sales focus.

Our initial priority will be to minimise business disruption as we set-up the standalone business and exit Transitional Service Agreements (TSAs). Through this process, we will carry out a re-design and upgrade of current operational systems to create a more agile, fit-for-purpose operating environment to allow for accelerated growth. There will also be a renewed focus (and incentive scheme) for the sales team, generating stronger revenue performance within specific high-growth and margin service areas.

As a fully standalone entity, we also see a tangible and valuable opportunity to strengthen the scientific leadership of the business with additional technical hires as we look to build out a fully integrated service offering. Accompanying this thesis, we also plan to execute on a focused buy-and-build as well as partnership strategy that will unlock new discovery and development lines, providing clients with a more end-to-end service provision.


Scientists with PhDs


successfully delivered projects



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