IRB consolidation continues as Chesapeake and Schulman merge to form Advarra

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: iStock/travellinglight)
(Image: iStock/travellinglight)

Related tags: Mergers and acquisitions

Chesapeake IRB and Schulman IRB have merged to address increasingly complex research needs and leverage mutual company strengths, says CEO.

Chesapeake IRB, headquartered in Columbia, MD, and Cincinnati, OH-headquartered Schulman IRB will now operate as a single company under the name Advarra.

The company will provide institutional review board (IRB), institutional biosafety committee (IBC), and research compliance services in North America.

Bringing Chesapeake and Schulman together creates a unique opportunity to leverage mutual strengths in technology, regulatory expertise and customer service to address the increasingly complex needs associated with research​,” Jeff Wendel, President and CEO at Chesapeake IRB told

With complementary services and technology, our combined capabilities are well aligned to enable our teams to focus on serving our clients in more meaningful ways​,” he said.

As for company integration, Wendel said: “We will incorporate best practices from each organization in a way that supports the needs and preferences of our customers​.”

Continued consolidation

The merger follows the implementation of a National Institutes Health (NIH)-issued policy on the use of a single IRB​ for multi-site research. The policy was announced June 2016 with the goal of streamlining the review process.

NIH guidelines also requires approval from both an IRB and institutional biosafety committee (IBC) for research involving genetic engineering, prompting Schulman IRB to launch its IBC service offering in May​ of this year.

Additionally, in June of this year, Chesapeake IRB announced back-to-back acquisitions​ of two Rockville, MD-based, independent IRBs, Institutional Biosafety Corporation (IBC) and MaGil IRB.

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