U.K. CRO Ergomed is expanding its share of the postmarketing services business, buying a medical information firm that fields patient queries for drug companies.
Ergomed is trading an undisclosed cash sum for Sound Opinion, a British outfit specializing in taking calls from patients and customers of pharma and generics companies. Sound Opinion has been in business for 18 years and established a known brand in the U.K., according to Ergomed, and the CRO expects its latest acquisition to bolster its growing postmarketing segment.
Ergomed makes much of its revenue through risk-sharing deals with its clients, conducting clinical services in exchange for a share of a product's potential revenue. But the contractor has increasingly looked to late-stage and postmarket work for growth since going public last year. In tandem with its 2014 IPO, Ergomed acquired PrimeVigilance, a firm that keeps tabs on drug safety for pharma companies, and the Sound Opinion deal is designed to burnish that growing business, CEO Dr. Miroslav Reljanovic said.
"The acquisition of Sound Opinion is in line with Ergomed's strategy to expand our post-marketing services capacity, a sector we think is critical to the future approval of new medicines and treatments," Reljanovic said in a statement. "Medical information is a very good fit with our leading presence in pharmacovigilance and drug safety through the PrimeVigilance brand, and we are extremely pleased to acquire Sound Opinion with its strong legacy and existing client business."
Last year, Ergomed boosted its revenue by 14% to £22 million ($33.4 million), wrapping 2014 with a £60 million ($91.1 million) backlog and ambitions for further growth in 2015. And the CRO is on the verge of some major milestones with its four co-development partners, working through Phase III with Cel-Sci ($CVM), Synta Pharmaceuticals ($SNTA) and Aeterna Zentaris ($AEZS) while nearing Phase II with Ferrer.
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