February 2006

A Stock Split Can Make You Forget

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

PPD’s two-for-one stock split is good news for the top global clinical  research organizations. Investors attracted to the sector by the  company’s split announcement Feb. 8 can focus on PPD and other top CROs  rather than the sideshow embattled SFBC has become. When new investors look at top CROs such as PPD, Quintiles , PRA, ICON, Parexel and Covance, they will see the pharmaceutical outsourcing industry  ready to consolidate around a handful or so of these companies.These  global CROs have a big advantage over the estimated 1,000 other small  CROs throughout the world. They have international infrastructure in  place to conduct complex clinical trials in thousands of patients at  sites across multiple countries.That global presence is not easy to  build and represents a barrier to entry for small CROs trying to roll  up into a global player.

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What’s In A Name? A Fresh Start, Maybe

Friday, February 3, 2006

A new CEO and a change of scenery are good first steps to righting the ship at SFBC. A new name could also do the embattled contract research organization some good. Something like, say, PharmaNet? Two weeks ago Jeffrey McMullen assumed the role of CEO. He joined SFBC as part of the company’s December 2004 acquisition of CRO PharmaNet for $245 million in cash. By our measures, the PharmaNet name has a lot of positive brand equity. It has been a top performer in the Thomson CenterWatch Survey of Investigative Sites in the US in 2005 and 2003. It was also top-rated in Europe in 2004. That’s high praise from our survey respondents – principal investigators and study coordinators – who are on the front lines of clinical research.

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