INC Research is continuing its acquisition driven growth strategy by buying APAC-focused CRO Trident Clinical Research.
Acquiring Trident furthers efforts at INC to gain the scale and geographic reach to compete for strategic partnerships with the top contract research organisations (CRO). In particular, the buy gives INC its first offices in Australia and New Zealand, plus an expanded presence in India.
“Trident has established an exceptional reputation in the region with emerging biotechs to local affiliates of global pharmaceutical companies and major principal investigator units. We are very happy to add them to our team”, said James Ogle, CEO of INC.
Buying Trident gives INC three offices in Australia, in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and another in Auckland, New Zealand. Successful completion of the Kendle takeover, which is due to close in the third quarter, would also give INC offices in Sydney and Melbourne.
Phase I assets
Expanding in Australia through buying Trident should benefit Phase I operations at INC. A 2005 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit praised the efficient early phase regulatory system in Australia and the nation is in the process of revising and improving the clinical trial process.
“Fast approval processes, high quality clinical practice and academic clinical trials centres” attract Phase I work to Australia, said a report by a group set up by the government to look at reforming the research sector.
“Although a much smaller sector than the Phase II-IV trials sector, [Phase I has] further growth potential. The value of “first-in-human” studies is to provide the capacity to translate discoveries from Australia’s first class biomedical research sector into clinical practice”, said the report.
Trident formed in 1997 and since then claims to have performed more than 100 Phase I trials. Over this period Trident “has achieved an outstanding working relationship with key Phase I units in Australia”, said INC.
As such, the takeover will strengthen INC in Phase I. In contrast, buying Kendle would primarily benefit late phase research at INC, as did the earlier acquisition of assets from MDS.
Buying Trident also gives INC an office in Mumbai, India. INC already has clinical and data operations in Gurgaon, India and the Mumbai office will extend its reach. Also, if India liberalises Phase I regulations the early phase experience at Trident could benefit INC.
Indian operations at INC will expand much more if the Kendle deal is completed. Kendle has offices in New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar and more in other areas of the Asia-Pacific region.