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Synexus enters U.S. market with acquisition of Research Across America

Monday, March 7, 2016

London-based site management organization Synexus has acquired Texas-based Research Across America, marking the company’s entry into the U.S. and expanding its reach to over 79 million potential patients.

Synexus has the largest network of clinical research sites in the world, with 25 dedicated sites in countries including Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Ukraine, India and the United Kingdom. This acquisition provides important U.S. market expertise and therapeutic proficiency, according to Synexus CEO Christophe Berthoux.

“Synexus already has a strong international footprint,” Berthoux said. “We spent a great deal of time searching for an appropriate partner in the U.S. Research Across America has many synergies with the way we operate, and we’re very happy to partner with them.”

While Synexus has experience in a number of therapeutic fields, the company’s key strategic focus has been in the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, central nervous system, diabetes and metabolism clinical areas. With Research Across America’s expertise in areas that include dermatology and generics, the acquisition further expands the company’s capabilities.

Almost 90% of all clinical trials are delayed due to slow patient enrollment. The Synexus model for enrollment and retention includes SOPs and research sites that are purpose-built and managed to provide the best experience possible for participants, Berthoux said.

“What Synexus brings to the industry is the ability to recruit a larger number of patients to a smaller number of sites, and to do this in a timely and efficient manner,” he explained. “Our model makes the overall clinical trials process more efficient, in terms of value and time, for pharma companies and CROs.”

Berthoux pointed to his company’s commitment to patient centricity as a key to its success. “It’s all about the patient experience,” he said. “The quality of patients and the quality of data is a reflection of the great relationships with the patients and doctors at our dedicated research sites.”

Research Across America was founded in 1989 by noted otolaryngologist Jeffrey Adelglass, M.D., and has conducted over 2,000 clinical trials at its dedicated research sites. A patient-centered philosophy has been an important part of his company’s mission as well, Adelglass said, and helped pave the way for the acquisition.

“As physicians we put patients first, but it’s hard to find business organizations that do the same,” said Adelglass. “Synexus does. Even though they are across the pond, we saw a lot of commonality. I thought Synexus was a great fit for us.”

Adelglass will continue in the role of chief medical consultant for the Americas for Synexus U.S. “I’m thrilled because this partnership is better for our patients, for patients worldwide and for medicine in general.  For me personally, it’s exciting to be able to work with an international team of colleagues.”

“One of the things that influenced my decision to be a part of Synexus is that my entire staff is now working for Synexus and no one lost their job, which was very important to me. They have more room to grow and advance in their careers as well. So this is a win-win situation,” said Adelglass.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Medicine is practiced one patient at a time, but research is becoming much more global in scope,” Adelglass said. “That is one of the reasons why this deal is a fabulous way to extend globally what we started here in Texas—to help more people worldwide.”

David K. Blume, co-founder and managing director of the independent investment banking firm Edgemont Capital Partners, said a U.S. acquisition by Synexus “was entirely expected” given the demands of today’s trials, the complexities of the protocols and the requirements of sponsors.

“In the continuum of outsourced pharmaceutical services, by far and away the most fragmented area is the clinical research site sector,” Blume said. “It’s where the experimental drugs are being administered to subjects, and in some respects it’s the most critical point of connectivity. Yet the industry as a whole, this 60 billion dollar industry, is relying historically on a cottage industry. There is a lot of inefficiency as a result.”

The time is ripe, he said, for the aggregation of clinical research sites to achieve economies of scale. “I think we are in the early stages of seeing a very robust consolidation at the site level,” he said. “We anticipate that consolidation will continue; we will see a focus around a range of capabilities including therapeutic expertise and the ability to recruit subjects, which is a key bottleneck. Ways to do that more effectively and efficiently are attractive to sponsors and CROs, and being able to offer a one-stop solution is increasingly attractive.” 


Lisa Catanese, ELS, has been a medical writer and editor since 1986, covering clinical trials, medical research, newly approved drugs and devices, consumer health education, continuing medical education and more. She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and is certified by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences. Email Lisa@BlueBlazeCommunications.com.

This article was reprinted from Volume 20, Issue 09, of CWWeekly, a leading clinical research industry newsletter providing expanded analysis on breaking news, study leads, trial results and more. Subscribe »

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