In a statement accompanying the news, Icon said that Timaq’s European headquarters, in Zurich, Switzerland, and links with medical institutions were key motivations for the acquisition.
Icon spokeswoman Emily Brand declined to say how much the Irish contract research organisation (CRO) had paid for Timaq, but did tell Outsourcing-pharma how the firm plans to work with its new purchase.
She predicted that Timaq's integration into Icon’s existing medical imaging unit, which is headquartered in Warrington in Pennsylvania, US, will take place over the next six to 12 months.
Brand went on to say that: “Icon will also relocate some personnel to Zurich to assist the integration process and provide day to day support,” but did not say how many employees would be involved.
Timaq founder and Positron emission tomography computed tomography (PET-CT) pioneer, Professor Gustav von Schulthess from University Hospital Zurich, welcomed the deal.
“Together we can enhance and expand the range of imaging services we offer our clients, while Icon’s global footprint will enable us to support the largest multi-country imaging studies.”
While medical imaging has long been established as a diagnostic tool, demand for the technique in clinical trials has increased markedly in recent years as sponsors seek to reduce trial costs.
The basic idea is that imaging analysis during trials provides more rapid and detailed feedback to sponsors, enabling them to more readily identify which clinical programmes represent the best value.