Averion Restructures as Revenues Dip
Southborough, Mass.-based contract research organization (CRO) Averion is restructuring its senior management team in an effort to grow its services and improve its bottom line.
The CRO, which specializes in oncology, cardiovascular disease and medical devices, appointed Peter Gonze president and James McGuire chairman of the board of directors. Gonze, who joined the company a year ago as executive vice president of global business development, will be responsible for global operations and business development. McGuire was formerly president of private equity investor NJK Holding Corporation, an affiliate of Cumulus Investors, Averion’s second largest stakeholder.
Former CEO Markus Weissbach, M.D., Ph.D., is now executive chairman following the July resignation of Philip Lavin, Ph.D. Lavin was given the title of founder and vice chairman of the board, and Weissbach, who has been CEO since Averion’s 2007 acquisition of Swiss-based CRO Hesperion, will focus on strategy and planning.
Averion also reached an agreement with senior debt holders to modify the terms of certain interest payments that are due in order to preserve working capital for the growth of the business and to strengthen the long-term growth prospects of the company.
The CRO reported last week a drop in net service revenues for the second quarter 2009 due to a lower level of contract signings that would have been recognizable in Q2. Revenues decreased $2.8 million to $15.9 million, compared with $18.7 million for the same period last year. Year-to-date net service revenues also decreased, from $34.4 million in 2008 to $31.6 million in 2009.
Averion’s net loss for the quarter increased to $1.2 million, up from $0.6 million last year.