UK-based CRO Chiltern has agreed to acquire Ockham, a North Carolina-based full-service CRO, and the combined company will now compete with mid-sized CROs. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced.
The combined company, which will retain the name Chiltern, will keep Chiltern’s CEO Jim Esinhart as CEO, while Ockham’s CEO James Baker will become Chief Development Officer.
Esinhart said: “This merger is a natural progression towards our strategic goal of becoming the premier specialized mid-tier CRO. Throughout this process I have been extremely impressed by the skill and professionalism of Ockham’s employees, the quality services they deliver, and the vision of the leadership team.”
The acquisition comes as Chiltern saw increasing amounts of growth of the past few years in the US and central and eastern Europe and this acquisition will clearly increase the company’s presence in the US. It also follows the company’s consolidation of ownership back in December after private equity investor Kester Capital sold its stake in the CRO , which also has operations in India, Taiwan, Australia and Singapore.
The goal of the transaction is to strengthen the companies’ combined service offerings in three areas:
• Oncology specialization, with expertise across all clinical phases of development. In 2012, Ockham purchased oncology specialist Nexus , which bolstered its offering in this specialty;
• Biopharmaceutical services with global reach and scale, including therapeutic experience in respiratory, ophthalmology, infectious disease, vaccines and dermatology; and
• Global Functional Service Provider (FSP)/Sourcing provision specializing in tailored resourcing solutions across clinical, regulatory, medical and biometrics.
Baker added: “In Ockham’s continuing progression toward building the top niche oncology CRO, our joining with Chiltern has been an easy choice, allowing us to leverage Chiltern’s global reach and highly developed staffing business in Europe, both of which are complementary to Ockham’s deep oncology expertise and source business in the US. We are fortunate to have found the ideal partner with a complete understanding and commitment to the unique needs of our emerging biotech clientele.”