Originally, ChoiceOne set up the contract research organisation (CRO) as a UK-based clinical trial services provider in 1998, however, since 2008 the firm has focused on the Asian market with a network of offices across China, Taiwan and Korea.
While this allowed it to capture some of the region’s rapidly expanding trial market – Choice Pharma claims to be involved in 150 on-going clinical studies involving more than 25,000 patients - the UK firm is aiming at further expansion.
In a statement it said that: “In order to accelerate the pace of growth, ChoiceOne is exploring possibilities for joint ventures and/or strategic partnerships with US- and EU-based International CROs who are looking to develop their operational capacity in Asia.”
To find these partners ChoiceOne has called in CRO sector deal broker Fairmount Partners, which arranged Telerex’s takeover of pharmacovigilance specialist Sentrx Safety Solutions in April and Icon’s acquisition of Cross Country Healthcare’s trials arm in February.
And Fairmount managing director Neal McCarthy is confident he can find CROs that want to partner to access the Asian market among global services firms that recognise the importance of local expertise.
“Operational presence across the Asia-Pacific market is critical for any CRO wishing to provide global trial capabilities. With their regional capacity and experience, stable of blue chip clients, stellar management and impeccable quality, Choice Pharma represents the ideal pan-Asian partner.”
This echoes what McCarthy told Outsourcing pharma.com earlier this year when he cited expanding geographic reach alongside therapeutic and service expertise as well as scale as one of the key drivers of CRO sector M&A activity.
“Virtually every CRO in the US will eventually want to be able to work in Europe, and vice versa. This is the “first step” for most. Expansion into Asia, and South America is usually the next step.”