Accelovance acquires Altair Clinical, boosts oncology, vaccine offerings

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Accelovance acquires Altair Clinical, boosts oncology, vaccine offerings

Related tags Medicine

CRO consolidation continues with Rockville, MD-based Accelovance expanding its footprint into Europe with the acquisition of Cambridge, UK-based Altair Clinical.

Therapeutically aligned in the areas of oncology, vaccines, and general medicine, the combined company will offer CRO resourcing solutions to pharma, biotech, and medical device companies in the US and Beijing, China, as well as in the UK and Moscow, Russia. The company will also now have staff located throughout Europe including Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The acquisition furthers the trend of smaller CROs looking to build up their capacities to compete with their larger peers. Some experts in the industry​ think consolidation will drive prices higher, though a recent survey of CROs found that prices remain generally flat.

Michael Keens, VP of business development at Accelovance, told that the company was founded with a focus on infectious diseases and vaccines and has since expanded into oncology. Relying on solely the US for oncology trials can be difficult, Keens said, noting that Altair adds new expertise in the fields of rare disease and medical device.

All of the staff from Altair will be integrated into Accelovance, and Keens said the transition should be fairly smooth as the two companies have been working on the acquisition for several months now.

As part of its decision to purchase Accelovance, Keens said the company looked at a number of CROs across Europe, though many of them earn a substantial amount of their work through contracting with other CROs. Altair, however, predominantly works with pharma companies, so the combined company won’t lose those opportunities when they come together, Keens said.

It’ll help us compete with more small and mid-sized CROs​,” he added, noting that the company is continuing to have “good conversations with clients​” looking to expand their R&D overseas.

"In addition to an expanded geographic footprint, we’re adding talented management and staff experience to further enhance our ability to meet the evolving needs of our clients. This acquisition, and our expanded global capabilities and staffing services, provide a proven alternative to existing providers of full range CRO services​," said Stephen Trevisan, CEO of Accelovance.

Accelovance’s purchase of Altair follows its 2013 acquisition of the CRO division of Radiant Research​. That purchase helped the company add sites in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina.

Nigel Trim, Executive Chairman of Altair Clinical, added: “We believe this acquisition will benefit all clients and significantly enhance Accelovance’s ability to provide global services – advancing clinical development of small molecule, biological, and device approvals​.”

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