In a press release, Aesynt, a provider of integrated pharmacy automation solutions for hospitals and health systems, announced it has completed the acquisition of Health Robotics (Italy), a global supplier of automated technology for intravenous (IV) medication preparation, compounding and dispensing.
The acquisition continues Aesynt’s growth to solidify its position as “the only company in the market able to provide a complete solution for pharmacy automation, regardless of medication type or distribution model.”
Spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University
The well-established Pittsburgh-area company–a spinoff success of Carnegie Mellon University–was founded in 1990 as Automated Healthcare, a developer of robotic technology to track drugs in hospital pharmacies.
Automated Healthcare’s founder, Sean McDonald, sold it for $65 million in 1996 to drug distribution giant McKesson Corp., at which point it became known as McKesson Automation.
“The average hospital has a 2 percent profit margin now,” said Aesynt CEO and President Kraig McEwen. As the health care overhaul evolves, cost pressures will increase, and “they will have to take out 15 to 20 percent of their costs to stay above water.”
Under McKesson’s ownership, the business grew as part its wholesale drug supply business, with the parent offering McKesson Automation’s Robot-Rx (pharmacy robot) to customers as an add-on benefit.
“Where we had one of those, McKesson never lost a contract,” McEwen said.
Hospitals are consolidating, and in five years, 70 percent will be owned in a hospital group, up from about half now, he said. “That’s our opportunity to help them cut costs.”
Chris Adams, a principal at Francisco Partners said, “We are increasingly excited about Aesynt’s potential. The company is known for its deep knowledge of the medication delivery process, and we support Aesynt’s leadership team and its strategy to develop solutions for medication management.”
Looking to acquire more
McEwen said its owner will provide money for acquisitions, and Aesynt has introduced products that will fuel internal growth.
Aesynt is “actively engaged” in looking for acquisitions where it can take advantage of its ability to manufacture electro-mechanical devices and sell complex systems.
In November (2013), Aesynt introduced the latest version of Robot-Rx, with 30 percent higher capacity, a futuristic stainless steel look and sound reduction enhancements, said Preeti Churbock, product manager.
Other new products add anesthesia-dispensing carts for operating rooms, automated dispensing cabinets for smaller hospitals and medicine packaging systems to Aesynt’s systems.
About 1,200 hospitals worldwide use Aesynt’s technology, McEwen said.
There is room for growth in a market that has 4,500 to 5,000 hospitals with more than 250 beds, and that is large enough to benefit from Aesynt’s technology.