The deal – which is due to be announced next week – will see Miami’s 18,000 sqft, 50-bed Phase I unit, sleep lab and patient recruitment operation join the Newark, US-based QPS' global network, which includes operations in the Netherlands, India and Taiwan.
In addition to Phase I trials MRA also has capacity for Phase II to IV studies according to QPS CEO Benjamin Chien, who told Outsourcing-pharma.com that sponsor demand prompted the acquisition.
“MRA can do first-in-man which QPS has in the Netherlands, but not in US,” he said, adding that “as MRA has access to patients, they also do Phase 1 in patient studies which more and more sponsors are asking for.”
He explained that all the finance, IT, business development and marketing will be fully integrated into QPS and that the contract research organisation (CRO) will handle all data management, statistical analysis, PK/PD modeling and medical writing activities for studies carried out at MRA as well as a number of other functions.
“In addition to those, QPS can also provide bioanalytical, biomarker, genotying, etc. services for these Phase I studies conducted in MRA. In other words, MRA will now be able to provide full package services for its clients in combination with QPS’ capability in Phase I offering.”
Chien also said that: “No single person will be let go in MRA and they will continue to run their business as before,” adding that this will include working with 'large clinical' CROs.
The acquisition – financial terms of which were not disclosed – continues the expansion programme QPS has followed over the past year.
The process began in March 2011 when QPS bought a majority stake in Qualitix Clinical Research, adding trial sites in Taiwan and China to its network.
And in August last year, QPS bought Austrian firm JSW Life Sciences, adding capabilities in Phase II to IV development for central nervous system disorders to its offering. In November, the CRO increased Phase I capacity in Europe adding 24 beds to its site at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
And in December QPS established a joint venture in Japan with Intellim Corporation.