WuXi AppTec continues worldwide expansion with ResearchPoint Global buy

China outbound capital restrictions
WuXi AppTec buys U.S.-based full-service CRO ResearchPoint Global, tapping the latter's clinical operations in over 60 countries.

As WuXi AppTec awaits being relisted on the Chinese stock market, it hasn’t halted expansions. The Shanghai-based biopharma research enabler has acquired U.S.-based CRO ResearchPoint Global (RPG).

Once the acquisition closes, RPG will become a wholly owned subsidiary of WuXi, with its service integrated with WuXi’s existing China-based, 500-member clinical development service team—or a CRO in the traditional sense—plus 1,000 clinical research coordinators under its site management organization (SMO).

Founded in 1999, RPG provides a full range of services, including protocol consulting, project and site management, safety and medical monitoring, clinical monitoring, data management, biostatistics, as well as regulatory support and medical writing, across all phases of clinical development spanning all major therapeutic areas. Based in Austin, Texas, the full-service CRO has 450 employees, 15 global offices and clinical service operations in over 60 countries, having established close relationships with enterprises in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Israel.

“This business combination lays the groundwork for the creation of an integrated global clinical service organization with global expertise and global network,” WuXi AppTec Chairman and CEO Ge Li said in a statement, calling it “an important milestone” in strengthening the company’s R&D capabilities. Financial details were not disclosed.

RELATED: WuXi AppTec prepares IPO for core drug R&D operation

As China recently moves closer to allowing foreign clinical trial data into new drug applications, for a major China-based CRO like WuXi AppTec, having a stronger presence around the globe could provide its customers a more streamlined clinical development experience, especially for those who intend to leverage China’s enormous clinical resources, mostly yet untapped.

The news came as the CRO giant awaits Chinese regulatory decision to relist its core drug R&D and CRO businesses on China’s stock market. According to its proposed prospectus (PDF, Chinese) released back in July, the company plans to raise 5.74 billion Chinese yuan (around $867 million) through the IPO. Local media outlets have previously put this section of the company’s pre-IPO value at 57 billion Chinese yuan.

It will still take some time, or even years, before WuXi could go public again, but the company definitely has not slowed its expansion and service upgrade. Its contract genomics organization, WuXi NextCODE, announced on Tuesday that it has installed Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing instruments at its lab in Shanghai, which potentially could open up new applications from discovery to diagnostics.