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PRA to acquire CRI Lifetree, boosting global phase I presence

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

PRA, a CRO based in Raleigh, N.C., intends to acquire privately held CRI Lifetree, a research organization that focuses on early stage, patient population studies.

Therapeutically, CRI Lifetree is focused in human abuse liability (HAL), addiction, pain, psychiatry, neurology, pediatric and infectious disease services. With more than 20 years in clinical research, the company has three clinical pharmacology centers with a capacity of about 200 beds, making it one of the largest providers of patient population phase I and confined phase II-III services in the U.S.

According to the company, CRI Lifetree is among only a few centers in the world with the ability to design and conduct HAL studies, a regulatory-required study for central nervous system (CNS) compounds. 

The acquisition, said PRA, will enable it to grow its phase I-II services and provide clients a full range of services in specialized patient populations for both inpatient and outpatient settings. CRI Lifetree adds to PRA’s existing phase I and bioanalytical lab capabilities in the U.S. and Europe.

“CRI Lifetree highly complements PRA’s services and capabilities,” said Colin Shannon, PRA’s president and CEO. “Together we are building a leading early phase CNS platform capable of providing clients with a comprehensive set of specialized clinical services.”

“PRA’s Early Development Services (EDS) division and CRI Lifetree are a perfect fit,” said Willem Jan Drijfhout, executive vice president, EDS and managing director. “We both have a strong scientific foundation and now, with a total of 500 beds and eight clinical pharmacology units, we will be one of the largest phase I organizations in the world.”

“There is a very strong cultural fit between CRI Lifetree and PRA,” said Jeffrey Kinell, CEO of CRI Lifetree. “Both companies share a dedication to scientific leadership, expansion of highly specialized services to meet the emerging needs of our clients, an uncompromising focus on quality and a belief that our strength is in our people and the way in which they work together.”

CRI Lifetree has approximately 250 full-time employees, is headquartered in Mount Laurel, N.J., and has three clinic locations: Marlton, N.J., Philadelphia and Salt Lake City. In addition to inpatient and outpatient studies, the company provides specialized early-phase research support services such as data management, biostatistics and study report writing.

PRA’s 10,000+ employees operate in more than 80 countries, providing full-service and embedded clinical trial solutions.

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