Care Access buys Brazilian research firm as part of regional expansion

Latin America is an opportunity for the decentralized trial sector, according to Care Access, which is putting its money where its mouth is with the acquisition of a study unit in Brazil.

The Boston CRO bought Rio de Janeiro-based Instituto Brasil de Pesquisa Clínica (IBPClin) this week, describing the deal as the first step to bring its decentralized clinical trial delivery model to Latin America. IBPClin is one of the largest research centers on the continent and claims to have conducted more than 160 industry-sponsored research studies, enrolling over 7,000 participants across 12 Brazilian states. In addition, IBPClin has capabilities in telemedicine and remote monitoring and also offers home care assistance for patients.

Care Access has been positioning itself for growth over the past year. Last August, for example, the CRO’s parent company Reify Health raised $220 million in a series C funding round that attracted Coatue Management, ICONIQ Growth and Adams Street Partners. And this April, Reify raised another $220 million in a series D that saw Dragoneer Investment Group join existing backers.

On both occasions, Reify said expanding Care Access’ decentralized trials business and geographical reach was a major aim. Brazil is a major destination for clinical trials. According to analysis by Global Data, the country accounted for a 1.7% share of global clinical trials activity in 2021.

Despite this, the current market for decentralized and hybrid clinical trials in Brazil is limited, with most studies being conducted at research centers. According to a study published in April, while the country is one of the biggest hubs for biopharmaceutical company-sponsored studies, research activities are still limited to a few investigators and a few academic centers.