Post-merger BioClinica looks to corner the imaging market

BioClinica has come out the other side of its second merger in as many years, absorbing CCBR-Synarc and plotting to shift its focus toward medical imaging and specialty services for clinical trials.

The CRO had long made its name on eClinical services and trial management, and adding CCBR-Synarc's capabilities in imaging and patient recruitment creates a fully fleshed-out partner for sponsors, the company's ownership said.

"Together, CCBR-SYNARC and BioClinica offer the industry's most comprehensive clinical imaging program across all major therapeutic areas that can interact with any contract research organization," said Peter Strothman, partner at part-owner Water Street Healthcare Partners, in a statement. "In addition, they offer complementary services and software solutions in the high-growth areas of patient recruitment and clinical development."

The merger's close brings an end to a whirlwind few years for BioClinica that have made for a complicated ownership picture. In 2013, private equity firm JLL Partners bought it for $123 million and subsequently merged the company with CoreLab, owned by Ampersand Capital Partners, which kept its stake in the combined outfit. In the latest deal, announced in January, CCBR-Synarc owner Water Street is hanging on to its stake in that CRO, creating a private equity trio at the reins of the new BioClinica.

Veteran CEO Mark Weinstein has retained his top spot at the combined company, and JLL and Water Street have recruited inVentiv Health Vice Chairman Jeffrey McMullen to serve as its chairman.

BioClinca's latest merger comes amid a sea of private equity activity in the CRO space. Most recently, Europe's Cinven paid $915 million for long-rumored target Medpace, a deal dwarfed by KKR and its multibillion-dollar effort to buy and merge PRA, ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services and CRI Lifetree into what it says is the world's fourth-largest CRO. That move follows Carlyle and Hellman & Friedman's $3.9 billion acquisition of PPD in 2011 and a $1.1 billion leveraged buyout that took inVentiv off the public market the same year.

- read the statement