inVentiv Clinical, the contract research organization (CRO) division of Somerset, N.J.-based marketing, communications and staffing firm inVentiv Health, has expanded its clinical services to Latin America with a new central hub in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The company stated it plans to bolster its operations in other countries throughout the region as well.
inVentiv Clinical has placed Ana Paula Ruenis, Ph.D., in charge as director of clinical operations in Latin America. Ruenis has more than eight years of experience managing trials in Latin America and has worked for top pharmaceutical companies in South America.
"Having already established full off-shore operations in India, the expansion of our clinical operations into Latin America is an important next step in our goals to become a global clinical services provider," said Mike Hlinak, inVentiv Clinical’s chief executive officer.
Latin America has proven to be an emerging market of choice of late. It poses less of a logistical challenge than do more remote regions such as China and India. The six major markets—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru—have 425 million people, or 80% of the region’s population. That is equal to the population of the entire European Union but less than half the size of India or China.
This kind of expansion should prove easier for an international parent company such as inVentiv Health. The company posted total revenues of $977.3 million for 2007, up nearly 30% from 2006. The CRO division accounts for about one-fifth of the company’s total revenue. inVentiv Clinical generated $186.9 million of that revenue, including $47.9 million in the fourth quarter. For the year and quarter, CRO revenues were up about 25% from 2006. The division attributed much of last year’s strong performance to growth in its clinical trial staffing group and strong demand for contract research services.
inVentiv Clinical, one of the company’s four business groups, was established in 2004. The division is formed around Houston, Texas-based inVentiv Clinical Solutions, which provides trial management, monitoring, regulatory consulting, and patient and investigator recruitment. In March 2006, inVentiv added Synergos, a clinical services provider with expertise in project management and monitoring as well as investigator and patient recruitment. Synergos was purchased for $5.75 million in cash and stock plus earn-outs. The group also operates a CRO subsidiary in Mumbai called inVentiv Siro (Siro Clinpharm). MedFocus is the division’s clinical research and scientific staffing unit.
inVentiv Clinical has offices in with offices in Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Madison, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Research Triangle Park and San Francisco.
In 2007, inVentiv also formed a Patient Outcomes division after acquiring Innovative Health Strategies and AWAC.MD, a technology-focused medical consulting firm. The division provides claims data integration, disease management, risk assessment and patient data analytic capabilities to employer groups and insurance companies.