The investment – details of which have not been disclosed – see CCBR-Synarc join product development services firm AAIPharma in the Chicago-based private equity group's 12-strong portfolio of healthcare companies.
CCBR-Synarc is composed of two companies. California, US-headquartered Synarc provides trial imaging services, while Denmark-based CCBR focuses on patient recruitment, both of which were highlighted as growth markets by Water Street Operating partner Al Heller.
“Recruiting patients to participate in clinical trials can be a significant pain point for pharmaceutical companies and can cause costly delays in their drug development processes.”
Heller added that: “CCBR-SYNARC stands out for its proven ability to both quickly recruit patients from targeted geographies and efficiently analyze images to support customers while increasing their clinical trial success rates.”
Water Street also said that the 5 to 10 per cent expansion of the clinical services forecast for the next five years was a factor in its investment, echoing the prediction set out by soon-to-be public industry leader Quintiles when it launched its IPO earlier this year.
Water Street did not say whether it plans to invest further funds to expand CCBR-Synarc, although such a move would fit with the strategy it employed with AAIPHarma.
When the private equity group bought AAIPharma’s pharmaceutical development business in 2009 it committed $75m (€57m) to expanding the firm’s offering and growth in the development services sector.
Such investment may also be important from a competitive standpoint as Water Street is not the only private equity firm to have invested in the clinical imaging sector.
In January, JLL Partners cited the clinical imaging market as a key driver for its acquisition of CoreLab Partners, which is later combined with eClinical services firm BioClinica.
Elsewhere, Icon has been investing in its clinical imaging offering in recent years, teaming up with Oracle to create a cloud-based management system for all aspects of clinical research in 2011, teaming with vRad and – more recently – expanding its early-phase imaging offering after landing a related deal with Roche.
While such moves – as well as others by private equity owned Medpace and Parexel – support Water Street’s interpretation of clinical image market dynamics, it also suggests that the sector is likely to be an increasing competitive place.