US-based pharmaceutical company Cardinal Health has agreed to acquire Specialty Networks, an integrated multi-speciality organisation, along with its PPS Analytics platform for $1.2bn in cash.

Specialty Networks is an integrated organisation that includes group purchasing organisations, life sciences and research solutions across rheumatology, gastroenterology and urology.

The company mainly offers solutions focusing on patient population health management, clinical research, patient engagement and workflow automation technologies.

These are considered essential for meeting standards of care, clinical research, practice operations and value-based care.

By acquiring Specialty Networks, Cardinal Health aims to bolster the growth of its speciality business by integrating advanced technologies and capabilities that cater to critical business and customer needs.

Cardinal Health CEO Jason Hollar said: “Expanding in specialty is a top priority for us and we have been investing to expand our offering.

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“The acquisition of Specialty Networks enhances our specialty strategy by providing new capabilities that strengthen the link between our downstream and upstream services, enabling us to create value for customers, manufacturer partners and patients.”

The acquisition is expected to complement Cardinal Health’s existing services in key therapeutic areas by improving the company’s analytics capabilities and service offerings, as well as by expediting its data and research opportunities with biopharma manufacturers.

Cardinal Health will also gain access to Specialty Networks’ PPS Analytics platform, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to provide actionable insights for providers, researchers, payers and policymakers.

Specialty Networks CEO Shailendra Sharma said: “Specialty Networks and Cardinal Health are united in their mission to deliver value for speciality physician practices and their patients and manufacturers with best-in-class offerings.

“This partnership is a strong cultural fit and a big win for physicians and patients.”

Sharma will continue to lead the business as part of Cardinal Health once the deal has closed.

The deal’s completion is subject to customary closing conditions being met, including the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.