MPI Research pushes further into early phase development with CRO acquisition

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

The acquisition adds a new Michigan clinic to MPI's arsenal
The acquisition adds a new Michigan clinic to MPI's arsenal

Related tags Mpi research Clinical trial Pharmacology Drug discovery

MPI Research announced Monday it has acquired the assets of Kalamazoo, Michigan-based CRO Jasper Clinical Research & Development, which provides early-stage human clinical testing of new drugs for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition includes a 50-bed clinical trial unit, known as the Jasper Clinic, which offers early-stage study services, including pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics, drug interaction and methodology studies, as well as expertise in integrating pharmacogenetics and biomarkers into studies. 

Roger Hayes, SVP and General Manager of Laboratory Sciences at MPI Research, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com, “We see a tremendous amount of opportunity for early clinical services, especially for a niche Phase I clinic, as emerging biotech companies are looking to work with labs that have outstanding volunteer and patient experience. The scale of the Jasper Clinic allows us to perform both bioequivelance and innovator trials, and our unique association and proximity to the hospital, provides us with a network of volunteers and patients, which is the most essential factor for the success of a Phase I clinical study.”

The three-story, 25,000-square-foot clinic is located on the downtown Kalamazoo campus of Bronson Hospital, and is physically connected to Bronson's Level 1 trauma center.

"The addition of the Jasper Clinic is an important step toward making MPI Research the leading 'one-stop' resource for the early drug development community. From candidate selection in discovery, through preclinical safety assessment, proof-of-distribution imaging studies, and now, clinical trials, we can offer the full continuum of lead to proof-of-concept services for new drug candidates​," said MPI Research Chairman and CEO William U. Parfet.

The acquisition marks the second major service expansion by MPI Research this year. In September 2013, the company, along with partners inviCRO and 3D Imaging, broke ground on the Translational Imaging Center​, which includes a cyclotron and specialized services. The Translational Imaging Center is connected to a world-class vivarium, and is slated to begin operation next spring.

This facility and the expertise associated with it will permit drug radiolabeling and distribution studies across a wide variety of animal and human models. Both the Translational Imaging Center and Jasper Clinic are aimed to help biopharma companies move their drugs and devices more efficiently through development.

"Jasper has an outstanding reputation within the drug development community, and gives our company the opportunity to further strengthen our collaborative relationships with other life science organizations located in the immediate vicinity, including  Bronson Methodist Hospital and the new Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, as we work together to advance therapies that improve lives​," Parfet said.

Originally constructed in 1984, when it operated as the internal Phase I testing unit of The Upjohn Company, the clinic became Jasper Clinic in 2003, an independent operation that was formed when Pfizer and Pharmacia Corporation merged in April 2003.

HR Senior Director Teri Nizzardini added, "We are excited to integrate the 80+ Jasper Clinic staff members into the MPI Research family​."

"Jasper Clinic has been committed to providing clinical trial Sponsors with exceptional speed, flexibility, and value. I know MPI Research shares this commitment in every phase of their operations​," said Dean Knuth, founder of Jasper Clinic.

"This is a unique and exciting opportunity for us to become part of a contract research organization that truly offers bench to bedside services​. “Moreover, the close proximity to the bioanalytical laboratories at MPI Research will greatly enhance our ability to provide quick turnaround services, particularly with first-to-file opportunities for those generic drug Sponsors performing bioequivalence studies​," Knuth said.

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