The contract research organisation (CRO) has completed a series of technology investments across its network, including upgrades to its Adaptive Design software, pharmacovigilance systems and its regulatory submissions offerings.
While these improvements are certainly beneficial to its clients, SynteractHCR’s S VP of global commercial operations Matt Smith said it is necessary to continue investing in such technologies to help grow the firm’s customer base.
“Because our clients are working in emerging to mid-sized biopharma companies, they often don’t have the funds for robust technology systems and platforms,” he told Outsourcing-Pharma.
“We’re typically investing between $3-5m [€2.7-4.4m] annually to keep our technology systems and certifications up-to-date so that we can support greater efficiency for our clients.”
Such investment has helped SynteractHCR see double-digit growth in the new customer counts over the past few years and therefore, he continued, there are plans to enhance the CRO’s tech offerings further:
“We’ve developed a tech roadmap to support our growing business and client base, so investing in enhancing our capabilities has been a significant focus for us over the last several years. It will remain so for the foreseeable future as we continue to improve our global service offering to remain competitive and meet customer demands.”
San Diego-based Synteract acquired German CRO Harrison Clinical Research (HCR) in 2013.
Consolidation of small CROs is common in the industry as local players look to expand their global operations and trial sites. This year alone Clinipace merged with Accovian and Maryland-based Accelovance bought Altair Clinical in order to expand into Europe.
But at the same time there has been a trend for mid-sized mergers to become a Big CRO, the top eight of which control over 60% of the market. PRA’s merger with RPS last year propelled the firm into the elite, and Chiltern’s proposed acquisition of Theorem is another example such consolidation.
But despite this, SynteractHCR is content being a mid-sized player for now.
“We’ve maintained a strong, longstanding position in the market as a mid-sized CRO, serving the emerging to mid-sized biopharma segment,” Smith told us.
“Our customers like working with a mid-sized CRO because we have the ability to run global trials, while remaining flexible and responsive. Further consolidation in the industry means more opportunity for us to continue to serve the customer base we’ve grown.”