Private equity snags another CRO, Premier Research

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

The deal is the latest in a string of private equity investment into the market. (Image: iStock/jansucko)
The deal is the latest in a string of private equity investment into the market. (Image: iStock/jansucko)

Related tags: Private equity firm, Contract research organization

Premier Research has become the most recent contract research organization (CRO) to receive funding from private equity as the industry looks for "like-minded" partners for the long run.

The CRO announced that it will receive a growth investment from Metalmark Capital, making the New York-based private equity firm majority owner of the contract research organization (CRO).

“We are taking a different approach to clinical development services by focusing almost exclusively on biotech and specialty pharma,” ​Ludo Reynders PhD, Premier Research CEO, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.

“Metalmark’s investment in Premier will help us to further develop our high-touch customer service approach, hire more leading experts in the oncology, neuroscience and rare disease fields, and continue our investment in technologies that enable our customers to rapidly meet their next investment or regulatory milestone.”

According to the company, Metalmark has more than two decades of healthcare experience. The equity firm said it will leverage this experience to support Premier’s “capitalization of the growing outsourced clinical trial market​.”

Premier’s existing management team members will continue in their current roles after the transaction closes in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Metalmark did not respond to a request for comment.

Private equity continuing investment

"CROs have been using a variety of investment and fund raising options. At this stage of our development Premier was seeking a like-minded strategic partner with a long-term investment horizon," ​Sean Russell, Chief Commercial Officer at Premier Research told us.

"Metalmark shares our values and belief in the rapidly expanding innovative biopharmaceutical market. Their investment in Premier allows us to focus on growth and maximize value creation," ​he said. And this sentiment is one being seen across the industry, as private equity has increased investments in the biopharma market over the past couple years.

Most recently, international private equity firm, Cinven, purchased BioClinica​ in August of this year, after purchasing Medpace​ in April of 2014 for $915m. The firm also owns AMCo, a specially pharmaceuticals company, and Symlab, a clinical diagnostics laboratory.

Also recently, inVentic Health canceled its planned IPO​ in August after receiving a “significant"​ investment from the private equity firm Advent International.

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