The Strategic P.R. acquires Ascenda Biosciences

Puerto Rico-based private equity The Strategic Group, P.R. has acquired Alpharetta, Georgia-based Ascenda Biosciences LLC, a provider of medical tests. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction that was done via a special purpose acquisition vehicle.



The Strategic Group, P.R., a private equity firm based in Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico, has announced it has acquired all outstanding interest it did not previously own in Alpharetta, Georgia-based Ascenda BioSciences, LLC (formerly DRG Laboratory) through an affiliated special purpose acquisition vehicle.

Founded in 2012, The Strategic Group, P.R. is a boutique, multi-national, private equity firm that acquires, develops, and successfully operates companies across a multitude of diverse industry types. Primarily focused on technology and fintech companies, this acquisition reflects a recent emphasis on healthcare.

Ascenda is rising to the challenge of modern medicine by providing molecular, cutting edge, PCR/DNA technology that provides the highest level of sensitivity and specificity available in the market today, with tests for multiple bacteria, parasites, viruses, and health risk markers that provide information on how it relates to inflammatory markers, autoimmune and metabolic disorders, and other chronic diseases. These testing results are the critical tools that clinicians need to treat their patients and improve positive patient outcomes.

“Our goal is to provide actionable information for the clinicians to help their patients get well. The response in the market has been overwhelmingly positive and we have been working with The Strategic Group to help bring institutional management practices and scaleability. Their resources have allowed us to do this much faster than we could have by ourselves,” said Karen Stout, Ascenda’s current CEO, who will be transitioning into the VP of Operations role as part of the acquisition.

“Since our initial investment was made in early 2016, we have worked with Karen Stout with the intention to help scale the company to the next level and expand its footprint,” said Robb Rill, Managing Director of The Strategic Group, P.R., adding, “This step was a natural progression, and a way to provide additional resources to expand its service menu even further into other areas.”

As part of the acquisition agreement, Ascenda will be welcoming new CEO Justin Cole. Cole has 10 years of experience in the diagnostic testing space in almost every capacity from lab management systems to business development, and has a bold vision for Ascenda’s future, saying, “The goal is to bring in new partnerships and expand testing beyond GI health, to include women’s health, respiratory testing, toxicology, and oncological testing, and to give practicing clinicians no reason not to send samples to us for almost every type of testing, whether it’s blood, fecal, or biopsy, using the most advanced technologies.”