PPD snags Acurian for recruitment software

PPD has acquired Pennsylvania's Acurian, folding the company's clinical trial patient enrollment and retention services into its expanding eClinical operation.

Neither company is getting into financial specifics, but PPD is now the owner of Acurian's suite of analytics-powered recruitment tools, including software that can help predict problems and save sponsors money in clinical trials, PPD CEO David Simmons said.

"Acurian's best-in-class approach to patient recruitment will be an excellent complement to PPD's clinical development expertise," Simmons said in a statement. "Acurian will enable PPD to provide clients industry-leading services that accelerate patient enrollment and support their strategies for data-driven feasibility, site selection and enrollment delivery."

Acurian will retain its name and structure, operating as a division of PPD with CEO Rick Malcolm in the lead. Malcolm, for his part, said Acurian is ready to join the ranks of a global CRO, and bringing its time-tested recruitment and retention tools into the fold with PPD's drug development prowess is the perfect next step for the company.

Simmons, a Pfizer ($PFE) veteran, has prioritized technology since taking the helm at the North Carolina CRO last year, investing in adaptive clinical trial software and drug discovery solutions as the company expands its reach around the globe.

The formerly public PPD was snapped up by the Carlyle Group in 2011 for $3.9 billion, part of a yet-to-let-up wave of private equity interest in CROs.

- read the announcement