Private equity group Parthenon Capital Partners has acquired eClinical services firm Bracket from US pharmacy benefit management organization Express Scripts.
The deal – terms of which were not disclosed – will give Bracket the autonomy and resources it needs to grow in the eClinical software and services sector according to company president Catherine Spear.
Bracket – which claims to have worked on more than 1,100 clinical trials – was founded in 2011 when United BioSource (UBC) merged its clinical technologies and specialty clinical services group into an organisation providing clinical data integrity and collection technologies and services.
The eClinical services company then became part of Express Scripts in 2012 when it bought UBC’s owner, PBM Medco, for $29bn (€21bn) in a deal that - at the time - prompted some observers to speculate that the pharmacy management group would sell Bracket as it did not fit with its core business.
In a press statement announcing the new deal David Ament, managing partner at Parthenon, said the acquisition of Bracket followed analysis of trends in the sector
“We have been studying the clinical trials specialty services market for several years and believe Bracket offers a unique and highly compelling set of solutions to the industry.”
This was echoed by Bradley Sloan, Principal at Parthenon, who said: “We believe life sciences companies will continue to increase their utilization of technology enabled solutions designed to optimize trial efficiency and ensure data integrity.
“Bracket is well positioned to further its market leadership in these areas and help increase precision in clinical trials for years to come.”
Parthenon's comments fit with renewed sponsor and CRO interest in remote data collection and virtual trials, which had taken a bit of a hit following the recruitment problems encountered by Pfizer with its virtual OAB trial.
The turnaround began in November 2012 when Pfizer announced it was considering restarting the study this year .
And while this restart has not yet happened, the US drugmaker’s positive mood was accompanied by a wave on interest in firms with virtual trial capabilities, with inVentiv’s investment in Mytrus in March being the obvious example. China’s Wuxi has also beefed up its virtual trial capabilities .