PRA sets sights on a new PA hub

With months of dealmaking and mergers under its belt, CRO PRA Health Sciences is consolidating some of its outposts, constructing a new facility that will eventually house more than 850 employees.

PRA has already completed the first phase of construction on its new shop, sited near Philadelphia in Blue Bell, PA. The company is already relocating employees from its nearby hubs in Horsham and Fort Washington. PRA expects to kick off the second phase in the second quarter of next year, and, once completed, the complex will feature more than 148,000 square feet of nonclinical space.

The goal is to better integrate PRA's expansive and expanding businesses, and the new center will bring its full-service, late-phase and Strategic Solutions groups under one roof, the company said.

"This is an exciting time for us at PRA," Strategic Solutions President Harris Koffer said in a statement. "This move speaks to the continued robust growth of PRA Health Sciences and our commitment to our employees, clients and the community."

The move follows a whirlwind year of deals for the CRO, beginning with its $1.3 billion acquisition by private equity giant KKR last summer. A month after that, KKR signed a deal to pay an undisclosed sum for ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services and merge its two acquisitions. By year's end, the company had acquired CRI Lifetree to bolster its CRO conglomerate's Phase I efforts, completing a buy-and-merge plan that created what it said is the world's fourth-largest pharma contractor.

Now, with all those deals in the rear view, PRA is moving forward with 10,000 employees in more than 80 countries and a client roster of the world's largest drugmakers. The company touts itself as among the 5 largest CROs.

- read the statement

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated the function of PRA's new facility. We regret the error.