US CRO PRA international has expanded its presence in Eastern Europe with the acquisition of privately-owned trial services firm ClinStar.
The deal – terms of which were not disclosed – adds ClinStar’s capabilities in Phase I – IV clinical trial management in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states and its logistics division – IMP Logistics – to PRA’s network.
North Carolina, US-based PRA told Outsourcing-pharma.com it “will be able to leverage ClinStar’s substantial local presence and knowledge across all areas of operations within Russia and Eastern Europe to augment our current Eastern European operations.
PRA explained that it will work closely with clients to determine whether these regions are the right fit for a particular study design and suggested that - in those cases where the indication and standard of care align properly - clients could benefit from faster patient enrollment with fewer overall sites, saving time and money.
The contract research organisation (CRO) also said: “Over the coming months the 300 ClinStar and IMP Logistics employees will integrate with current PRA staff to form a cohesive team while maintaining successful operational delivery on projects.
“PRA will use this opportunity to augment not just its staff numbers but to also extend our expertise and experience with the ClinStar team that has focused exclusively on this region.”
No other takeovers planned
The acquisition follows just six months after privately-owned PRA secured a $410m (€326m) credit facility that Standard &Poor’s Rating Services suggested the CRO would use to fund geographic and capability expansion.
At the time the S&P analysts wrote: “We expect PRA to use the substantial flexibility under the new credit facility to grow the business through acquisitions and to pay dividends to its financial sponsor.”
With this in mind we asked PRA whether any other deals are in the pipeline and it told us that: “No other acquisitions are planned at this time, but we are always willing to look at well run, high quality companies.”
The ClinStar deal follows just weeks after PRA announced that it had formed a joint venture (JV) in China with Wuxi Pharmatech which the US CRO told us was designed to build its presence in the country’s late stage trial sector.