Metalmark Capital takes majority stake in private CRO Premier Research

Premier Research has been given what the company is dubbing a “growth investment” from Metalmark Capital, a New York-based private equity firm--although financial details have been kept close to the parties’ chests.

Metalmark said it acquired its position from Indigo Capital, an independently owned investment firm based in London.

The NY-based firm, which has more than two decades of healthcare experience, said in a statement that it “plans to leverage to support Premier’s capitalization of the growing outsourced clinical trial market as it continues to provide high-quality services to its valued customers.”

The deal should close by the end of the year, with Metalmark keen to say that Premier’s existing management team members “will continue in their current roles.”

Cash amounts involved were not shared, but Premier told FierceCRO that “With this investment, Metalmark will be taking a majority stake in Premier Research.”

A spokesman for the CRO added: “Metalmark shares Premier’s values and strategic direction, in particular the fact that we are taking a different approach to clinical development services by focusing almost exclusively on biotech and specialty pharma. Metalmark’s investment will help us further develop our high-touch customer service approach, hire more leading experts in the oncology, neuroscience and rare disease fields, and continue our investment in technologies that enable our customers to rapidly meet their next investment or regulatory milestone.”

Ludo Reynders, CEO of Premier Research, said: “Looking ahead, we are thrilled to be working alongside the team at Metalmark. They have a proven track record of success, industry expertise, and extensive networks in our areas of focus, and we are excited to benefit from their involvement in our business.”

This comes amid new interest from private capital co’s looking to get in on biopharma outsourcing.

Back in August, InVentiv looked set to go for an IPO but dropped its plans--made back in April for potentially a maximum of $500 million--after receiving a major investment from buyout firm Advent--as it joined Thomas H. Lee Partners in having an equity stake in the CRO.

And in the same month, London-HQ’d investment firm Cinven bought out Newtown, PA-based Bioclinica in a deal that had been rumored by newswire Reuters to be worth around $1.3 billion.