Genae, a CRO focused on medical devices, invested an undisclosed amount in Meditrix, a Japanese CRO in the same field, and obtained a call option to acquire the latter in full.
Headquartered in Tokyo and led by president Ichiro Oshiba, Meditrix offers full service that support the development and commercialization of medical devices specifically for the Japanese market.
Founded in 2012, the company is known for its proprietary electronic data capture system for clinical trials. Besides trial data collection and monitoring, its services also include clinical trial management, clinical development strategy consulting, as well as postmarket research.
Besides Tokyo, Meditrix also has branches in Osaka and Fukuoka in the southern part of Japan, with clinical operations scattered across the country.
“This collaboration will accelerate the much-required adoption of sophisticated medical technologies that are being developed outside Japan,” Oshiba said in a statement. It will also help promote Japanese med tech products outside the country, he added.
As for Genae, the Belgium-based CRO was founded in 2005 and currently owns all together 11 offices in nine countries, including one established in Japan in 2015, located in Yokohama city south of Tokyo. That clearly wasn’t enough for Genae to penetrate the market.
“While Japan represents a key market for the medical industries, it is a complex system for foreign med-tech companies to penetrate,” said Genae’s CEO Bart Segers in a statement. He also implied that tapping Meditrix, a local CRO with the same focus in medical devices, could help it have “a clear understanding of the regulatory and market hurdles,” and hence “to decrease time and cost to market, and to avoid hazardous strategies for our customers.”
The company said Japan is the third-largest medical device market, behind the U.S. and Europe.
Genae also offers services through all phases of clinical trials, from trial initiation, project and site management, data monitoring and auditing, to regulatory consulting and submissions. Electronic solutions, including data management and statistical analysis, are also part of Genae’s specialties. The CRO itself received investments from Korys, an investment firm of the Colruyt family, last March.