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Akron-based The Smithers Group Inc. is selling its Smithers Avanza Toxicology Services business unit in Gaithersburg, Md., to Bioanalytical Systems Inc.

Smithers Avanza Toxicology Services is a boutique contract research organization specializing in general toxicology, vaccine safety and developmental and reproductive toxicology. The Smithers Avanza Bioanalytical Services business is not included in this sale.

“Selling a business unit is never an easy decision, but we recognized that the scope and scale of BASi, coupled with our team’s scientific expertise, would benefit our clients and team tremendously,” Smithers CEO Michael Hochschwender said in a statement. "Operating as a single site toxicology business presented operational efficiency challenges that could only be overcome with the added sites and in-house capabilities of BASi."

West Lafayette, Ind.-based BSI views the acquisition as a means to overcome market hurdles via growth.

“The acquisition of the Smithers Avanza Toxicology Services business unit solidly supports BASi’s vision of strategic growth," BASi’s CEO Robert Leasure Jr. said in a statement. "With strong demand for our services, we needed to add space and talent. The team that is joining us from Smithers in Gaithersburg will allow us to provide more resources to our clients, while remaining small enough to be flexible and responsive. Not only will the Gaithersburg site provide increased capacity for routine safety assessment, we also gain significant expertise in developmental and reproductive toxicology.”