Barely a month into 2018 and the third drug discovery acquisition has been announced with Spectris buying Manchester-based Concept Life Sciences. The deal follows Charles River's acquisition of UK-based KWS Biotest and Eurofins' acquisition of UK CRO Selcia.

Phoenix Private Equity kicked off this buying spree last year with its investment in Sygnature Discovery. These deals continue a trend of UK service-based pharmaceutical businesses involved in the "smart" parts of the market being attractive to UK and foreign acquirers, despite Brexit and other macro concerns.

Keep an eye out for our forthcoming Pharma Fast 50, which will highlight other successful UK pharma services firms and will be published in March.