Premier Research poised for US infiltration

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Clinical trial

Premier Research has strengthened its presence in the US with the
recent purchase of Philadelphia-based clinical research
organisation (CRO) Scirex Corporation.

Scirex, snapped up for $30m (€24m) plus a further $7m upon completion, is a large, full service CRO with offices located across the US, as well as in London, UK and Krakow, Poland.

The company is already working in the same therapeutic areas as Premier - central nervous system disorders - and the acquisition "will complement our organic growth,"​ said a company statement.

"With its strong network of monitors and doctor contacts for access to patients across the USA, Scirex will also provide a strategic opportunity for Premier Research to gain new access within the important US CRO Market."

The new addition to the company will also provides new statistical, scientific and medical expertise to complement Premier's existing US capabilities, together with a well established network of clinics specialising in early phase analgesia clinical trials, said the firm.

The latest purchase continues Premier's strategy of building an international business both organically and through strategically placed acquisitions and follows a year of acquisitive growth by the firm, who bought IMFORM in December, PharmData in July and EPA Euro Pharma in June 2005.

These acquisitions have given Premier the scale and geographic coverage to start tendering for and winning larger, multi-country trials.

"Premier's international presence, with operations in 31 countries, is more akin to competitors many times its size and enables it to undertake much larger scale projects,"​ said a Broker note from Brewin Dolphin Securities in April.

"Evidence of this is in the increasing number of Phase III trials Premier is being asked to tender for, following through on the Phase II trials which currently form the core of work already undertaken."

As a result, the company was recently appointed as preferred provider of data management to a mid sized German biotech and the deal also gives Premier cross selling opportunities, with the opportunity to bid for all outsourced clinical work.

"Longer term, management has a clearly defined strategy to continue the strong growth trajectory, including infilling gaps in the European network, increasing scale in the US and adding cardiovascular and respiratory to its therapeutic areas of expertise,"​ said Brewin Dolphin at the time.

With the recent purchase of Scirex, one of these goals is now in sight.

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