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Synteract, a leading full-service contract research organization (CRO) and portfolio company of San Francisco-based Gryphon Investors, has entered into a definitive agreement under which Synteract will acquire Harrison Clinical Research (“HCR”). Harrison Clinical Research, founded in 1987, is headquartered in Munich, Germany and has operations in Europe, Israel and South America in addition to a U.S. office in Princeton, New Jersey. Synteract plans to combine operations to become a global service provider.
The acquisition of Harrison Clinical Research will give Synteract additional resources and scale to support large, global programs. It also gains a clinical in-patient unit in Germany and a clinical research training center in Belgium. HCR’s robust early phase and clinical pharmacology services, proven Phase II-IV capabilities, and strong functional service provision will enable the new organization to diversify and deepen its clinical development offerings across therapeutic areas and the spectrum of clinical trials. However, a continued directive of the new combined company will be to maintain a strong connection with emerging to midsize biopharmaceutical companies where both Synteract’s and HCR’s consultative approach and clinical development expertise has been the mainstay of their respective relationships with customers.
Wendel Barr, Synteract’s CEO, will lead the combined companies. Dr. Francisco Harrison, HCR’s chairman and founder, will remain a senior member of the executive team and become a member of the Board of Directors. The existing management of HCR will stay in place including CEO Benedikt van Nieuwenhove, who will become head of Europe after the closing of the transaction.
“Harrison Clinical Research is an exceptional fit for Synteract, uniting two well-respected players with longstanding drug development expertise to form a new global leader with enhanced scale and therapeutic breadth,” said Mr. Barr. “Together we will provide a continuum of service that allows us to work with clients throughout their entire development life cycle, from emerging products through post-marketing.”
Dr. Harrison stated, “HCR has a long tradition of outstanding customer service, as does Synteract. We see this as a growth opportunity that allows us to continue providing our customers with the same personalized service they have come to expect, but on a larger geographic scale. Our shared company cultures and flexible, customizable approaches to managing clinical trials make this a natural fit for us and ensure our clients will continue receiving the same expertise and excellent customer service worldwide.”
Both companies share a common culture of operational excellence and have a proven track record of success in all phases of clinical development. With the addition of HCR staff, Synteract will have a staff of over 800 in 16 countries. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including completion of final documentation and receipt of financing, and is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2013.
Synteract is a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based premier middle market private equity firm, which is the lead financial partner in the acquisition. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Alex Earls, a partner and head of Gryphon’s Business Services Group stated, “We are delighted to support the highly strategic acquisition of Harrison Clinical Research, which shares Synteract’s commitment to delivering responsive, customized clinical research services to biopharmaceutical and medical device customers. The acquisition provides Synteract with a strong geographic presence in Western and Eastern Europe and an emerging presence in South America. Importantly, this acquisition will allow Synteract to more effectively meet the global trial needs of its customer base and brings significant adaptive trial, medical device and nutraceutical expertise to the combined company.”