The West Lebanon, N.H., company has provided image and data management services for clinical trials since 1992, but the company did not provide Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) services. DXA, an imaging modality used to measure bone mineral density and body mass composition, is increasingly used in clinical trials.
“From a strategic point of view, we’re very interested in the DXA business. It’s a business that has been a substantial part of the total scan volume of imaging clinical trials for a long period of time,” said M2S president and CEO Wes Chapman.
M2S clients had requested DXA services, but, until the acquisition of DRG, the company did not have the capabilities to support DXA’s complexities.
“DXA is a very particular niche. It has its own image analytical tools, and there’s a fairly highly specialized scientific platform behind it. If you want to be in the DXA business, you really need to be in there with a group of people that have the experience with the imaging technology, with the imaging analytical techniques, and with the science that underlies the imaging technique,” Chapman said.
With the acquisition of DRG and its proprietary system, M2S can now provide quality assurance and management of clinical trials involving DXA measurements. DRG was one of only a handful of companies that offered DXA quality assurance and related customer service, Chapman said.
“We were among probably three major [DXA] providers,” said Reta Rupich, DRG’s co-founder and former president.
Rupich, now the newly appointed vice president of M2S’ DXA division, co-founded DRG in 2002. Although the company provided a unique and necessary service to pharmaceutical and medical device companies, DRG’s small size restricted its growth. “We were at a disadvantage before this acquisition because of our size and resources. I think this joining of forces really puts us up there on the top in terms of being able to offer state of the art, cutting edge DXA services,” Rupich said.
DRG’s six-person team remains intact with this acquisition, and Rupich’s two co-founders will also stay on with M2S.
The DXA division is located in Westborough, Mass., in DRG’s former office. Although the two companies are a state away from each other, M2S’ trial management technologies will make the long-distance working arrangement seamless, Rupich said.