Pharmacy-benefits manager Medco Health Solutions (NYSE:MHS) inked a $730 million deal on Monday to buy out privately held drug researcher United BioSource.

Medco said it expects the acquisition to slightly add to its earnings in 2011 and closing later in the third quarter. The move is aimed at boosting Medco’s capabilities in “data analytics and research to further accelerate its pharmaceutical knowledge.”

After the deal closes, Medco said United BioSource will become a wholly-owned unit of Medco that will be run independent from its core business.

“To meet the three main objectives of national healthcare reform – improving quality and reducing costs in order to extend access – it is more critical than ever to ensure that our use of medicines is driven by scientific evidence and proven economic value. The acquisition of UBC represents Medco's ongoing commitment to provide innovation and value in healthcare, extending our global footprint into the areas of health information technology, information services and research," Medco CEO David Snow Jr., said in a statement.

Medco, the largest pharmacy-benefits manager in the U.S., plans to pay for the deal through its free cash and existing debt facilities. United BioSource is expected to post 2010 revenue of $280 million.

“At UBC, our scientists are focused on delivering actionable evidence to guide the safe and effective use of biopharmaceuticals and enhance the quality and value of health care. The focus on evidence, value and real-world effectiveness research will remain a core focus of the UBC business," said Ethan Leder, United BioSource CEO and co-founder.

Medco’s stock had a muted reaction to the transaction, rising 0.2% to $47.00. The company’s stock has lost more than one-quarter of its value so far this year.