Morrisville, N.C.-based Clinipace, a technology- focused contract research organization (CRO), acquired Worldwide Clinical Research, a Midwest-based CRO as part of its global expansion. With the acquisition, Clinipace has changed its name to Clinipace Worldwide.
Worldwide Clinical Research adds operations in South America, an emerging market. The company provides core traditional clinical operations, including monitoring, site management and project management. These services will now be augmented by Clinipace’s focus on technology-driven clinical research solutions to provide clients with full-service, global research services. Worldwide Clinical Research has more than 30 employees, including six monitors. The acquisition doubles the number of Clinipace employees to 60.
“Having honed our expertise on electronic data management services, we felt it was critical to expand both our clinical operations expertise and global presence in order to support our growth,” said Jeff Williams, Clinipace’s CEO.
The companies combined have managed more than 70 contract research projects conducted globally at almost 3,000 sites with 100,000 patients.
“We think it is great growth time for a CRO with our strategy,” Williams said. “Lots of smaller CROs, the more traditional ones, may find it to be more difficult now. But in our case, the essence of our strategy is to leverage technology in order to improve the efficiencies of the trial. That translates into better visibility for the sponsors in terms of what is happening in the trial. But it also translates into lower costs.”
That is the value proposition Clinipace provides for its target market of small and mid-sized biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. “There’s pent up demand that is going to loosen up in 2010,” Williams said. The company’s headquarters will remain in Research Triangle Park, N.C., with additional domestic operations in Overland Park, Kan., and South American operations based in São Paulo, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Lima, Peru.
Clinipace, founded in 2003, said it has experienced triple-digit growth in the past 12 months and is expected to continue to hire in all locations throughout 2010 to support its growing CRO business. Williams said by the end of 2010, the company could have 100 employees.
“We’ll continue to look for acquisitions. [Worldwide Clinical Research] had a primary focus on oncology though they have done lots of other things. Our strength has been cardiovascular, CNS and medical devices. We will look for other opportunities where we can flush out therapeutic depth. At the same time, to grow a CRO you need to have a global presence. The first step for us was the South American operations,” Williams said.
Barbara Geiger, president and CEO of Worldwide Clinical Research, will transition to executive vice president of clinical operations and will be responsible for directing all clinical operations for Clinipace Worldwide, from its Kansas office. Geiger brings more than 25 years of experience in the conduct and management of phase I through IV clinical trials. Prior to founding Worldwide Clinical Research in 2000, she spent 10 years at global CROs.
“By combining forces, we can better serve our clients with a fully integrated end-to-end development solution and expert services,” said Geiger.