>Imform, based in Darmstadt, Germany, and with offices located across eight Eastern Europe, will provide >Premier with all-important established access to doctors and patients within the Eastern European CRO market.
Premier is planning to build itself up as a leading international CRO and is shying away from the industry trend of moving into Asia, instead placing its focus on Eastern Europe, another growth area, where European CRO industry giants such as Covance and PRA are already active.
"I believe that following this acquisition Premier Research can now provide more comprehensive geographical coverage for access to patients than the majority of its larger competitors, said Dr Simon Yaxley," CEO of Premier.
There is a growing awareness of the importance of Eastern Europe within the continent's CRO market. With a population in excess of 270 million, Eastern Europe's huge potential for clinical trials is now being realised.
Over the last decade the number of multi-centre clinical trials in the Central and Eastern Europe region has been growing on average at an annual rate of 30 per cent and this growth is expected to continue.
As is the case with Asia, CROs operating in Eastern Europe are also able to offer a beneficial climate in which to conduct low-cost clinical trials, including low patient reimbursement costs and a large pool of treatment naïve patients who are likely to produce clinical trial results that are not compromised by other medications.
The increasing attractiveness of Eastern Europe to drug developers in both the US and Western Europe are driving what Analysts >Frost & Sullivanpredict will be a year-on-year growth for the European CRO market of 10.4 per cent up to 2007, when it will be worth an estimated $4.3 bn (€3.6 bn).
This latest acquisition by Premier, worth €7.0 m, follows Premier's acquisitions of EPA Euro Pharma of Germany in June and US based PharmData in July of this year.