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Synteract to acquire Harrison Clinical Research

Thursday, December 20, 2012

CRO Synteract, a portfolio company of San Francisco-based Gryphon Investors, has agreed to acquire Harrison Clinical Research (HCR).

HCR, founded in 1987, is headquartered in Munich, Germany, with operations in Europe, Israel and South America, in addition to a U.S. office in Princeton, N.J. Synteract plans to combine operations to become a global service provider.

The acquisition of HCR gives Synteract additional resources and scale to support large, global programs, and adds a clinical in-patient unit in Germany and a clinical research training center in Belgium. HCR offers early phase and clinical pharmacology services, phase II-IV capabilities and functional service provision, enabling the combined organization to diversify and deepen its clinical development offerings across therapeutic areas and the spectrum of clinical trials.

A continued directive of the combined company will be to maintain a strong connection with emerging to midsized biopharmaceutical companies, for which both Synteract’s and HCR’s consultative approach has been central to their relationships with customers.

Wendel Barr, Synteract’s CEO, will lead the combined companies. Dr. Francisco Harrison, HCR’s chairman and founder, will remain a senior member of the executive team and join the board of directors.  HCR’s existing management will stay in place including CEO Benedikt van Nieuwenhove, who will become head of Europe.

“Harrison Clinical Research is an exceptional fit for Synteract, ” said Barr. “Together we will provide a continuum of service that allows us to work with clients throughout their entire development life cycle, from emerging products through post-marketing.”

Dr. Harrison stated, “We see this as a growth opportunity that allows us to continue providing our customers with the same personalized service they have come to expect, but on a larger geographic scale. Our shared company cultures and flexible, customizable approaches to managing clinical trials make this a natural fit for us and ensure our clients will continue receiving the same expertise and excellent customer service worldwide.” 

With the addition of HCR staff, Synteract will employ over 800 in 16 countries. The transaction is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2013.

Synteract is a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based middle market private equity firm. Headquartered in California, it delivers trials internationally, offering multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, CNS, cardiovascular, respiratory and ophthalmology.

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