Early phase clinical trial services are a strong growth area in the US as they continue to be one of the biggest bottlenecks in the development of new drugs.
"This investment will allow us to meet our clients' growing demand for high-science, first-in-human clinical trial services and address one of their toughest drug development challenges," said Wendel Barr, president of early development North America.
The acquisition will give Covance a significant expansion of clinical pharmacology bed capacity, bringing the firm's global Phase I/IIa clinical research capacity to more than 500 beds across eleven sites, and broadening its access to special patient populations for Phase Ib/IIa clinical studies.
The eight sites currently have a combined revenue of $25m a year and are located in Austin and Dallas, Texas; Boise, Indiana; Daytona and Gainesville, Florida; Honolulu, Hawaii; Portland, Oregon; and San Diego, California.
The Honolulu clinic comes with a unique database of patients that are critical for Japanese bridging studies, said the company.
Any bridge between the US and Asia is seen as highly valuable to the company, who is actively trying to capture key clinical data for drugs to serve the growing Asian market.
Asia has the largest pool of patients with cancer, cardio-vascular and infectious diseases, therapeutic areas that are now accounting for 70 per cent of all new drugs.
Upon handover of its early-phase sites, expected by the end of the second quarter, Radiant Research will place its business focus firmly on Phase II-IV clinical services.
"Our Phase II-IV business enjoyed a record year in 2005 and we will be expanding both our study conduct and drug development services offering to our biopharmaceutical customers in the second half of 2006," said Pamela Spaniac, COO, Radiant Research.