RAA is a network of independent research sites rather than a site management organisation (SMO). Each site can negotiate contracts and budgets independently and has its own coordinators and managers.
In addition to expanding Synexus's presence in the US, the deal – financial terms of which were not disclosed – broadens its therapeutic expertise.
Synexus CEO Christophe Berthoux said buying RAA is in keeping with his firm’s growth strategy.
“This latest acquisition is an important one for Synexus as it marks our entry into the US market, giving us truly global capability. We spent a great deal of time considering an appropriate partner and selected Research Across America as it has a number of synergies with the Synexus model.”
“In addition by adding these sites to our network we have also gained expertise in areas, such as dermatology and generics, enabling us to further support our client base.”
Synexus was bought by its management last February in a deal that saw former owner Lyceum Capital relinquish control.
The buyout, which was supported by the private equity arm of the Lloyds Banking Group, saw director Ged Gould join the contract research organisation’s (CRO).
At the time he said: “We are eager to further support the business break into new markets as it targets opportunities in the US, South America and Asia.”
Trial sites are a focus for the CRO sector.
Recent examples include Icon’s takeover of PMG Research in December and PRA’s formation of partnership with the Alliance for Multispecialty Research (AMR), a network of 20 research centres in the US, last September.
A few months before that PPD formalized relationships with eight investigator sites to create a paediatric investigator network (PIN) to "speed trial start-up, more predictably enrol patients and offer higher quality data to clients."
David Blume, managing director of healthcare deal brokers Edgemont Capital Partners, told us the contract research sector’s bete noire – patient recruitment – is the catalyst for deals with trial sites.
“CROs and other companies focused on addressing challenges in subject recruitment are increasingly looking to acquire sites to build their own in-house capability rather than rely on third party service providers.
“Research sites are the last mile in clinical research and far and away represent the most fragmented service component” Blume said, adding that the economies of scale provided by owning sites will improve clinical trial performance in both quality and speed.