Dublin-based and London Stock Exchange-listed UDG Healthcare has announced the acquisition of Cambridge BioMarketing LLC, a US-based healthcare communications business, for up to $35m (€30.55m).

Cambridge BioMarketing is an industry leader in orphan and rare disease drug launches, a fast-growing area of drug development and commercialisation.

The orphan drug and rare disease market is forecast to grow by 11% between 2017 and 2022 to $209 billion, with orphan drugs estimated to account for 21.4% of prescription sales by 20221.

UDG said the acquisition of Cambridge BioMarketing provides a platform for growth, specifically in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Oakland, California, both of which have a strong biotech presence.

It follows the acquisition last week by UDG of Vynamic, a US-based healthcare industry management consulting firm.

Cambridge BioMarketing is being acquired for an initial consideration of $30m, with an additional consideration of up to $5m payable over the next 12 months, based on the achievement of agreed financial targets.

Commenting on the announcement, CEO of UDG Brendan McAtamney said: "The acquisition of Cambridge BioMarketing provides us with industry-leading expertise in the fast-growing area of orphan and rare disease drugs and adds further capabilities in patient-focused communications programmes, an increasing focus for pharmaceutical companies."

In an investor note, Merrion Capital said: "Both the Cambridge BioMarketing and Vynamic acquisitions follow an April announcement by UDG Healthcare that the group will be investing in capacity expansion projects in both the UK and the US.

"Although these acquisitions may seem insignificant in size when looked at individually, accumulatively they are attractive bolt-on deals for UDG’s North American division and re-enforces group strategy of investing in the US market."