Clinipace banks $50M to scout for more deals

CRO Clinipace, which has pulled the trigger on 5 acquisitions in as many years, raised $50 million in debt and equity to bankroll the next phase of its expansion effort.

California's Virgo Investment Group led the round, which Clinipace plans to put toward its pipeline of potential buyout targets. The CRO prides itself on its technology, designed to seamlessly integrate trial data with a scalable model that's tailored for emerging and midsize biotech and device companies. And with the new cash, the North Carolina company is out to bolster its capabilities through dealmaking.

Clinipace's last splash, the March acquisition of Hong Kong CRO Choice Pharma, came on the heels of deals for Paragon Biomedical, PFC Pharma, Regulus Pharmaceutical and Worldwide Clinical Research. With all of its new businesses now fully integrated, the company employs 700 people across more than 30 countries.

Clinipace CEO Jeff Williams

And the CRO is just getting started. Virgo's support gives Clinipace the flexibility it needs to pick and choose takeout targets that will complement its core capabilities, CEO Jeff Williams said.

"Our model delivers unprecedented visibility, integration and collaboration among functions across clinical trials operations; walls that separate functions in a typical CRO are broken down, and information flows more quickly and freely," Williams said in a statement. "With Virgo, we found investors who not only think about innovation like we do but who also provided a financing vehicle designed to be used as needed to support our M&A activities."

Last year, Clinipace struck up a preferred-provider agreement with Karyopharm Therapeutics ($KPTI), signing up to assist in the development of the biotech's first-in-class therapies targeting cancer, wound healing and other major diseases. And, in April, the CRO signed a similar deal with Finnish device outfit Nexstim, which is developing a neurostimulation treatment for stroke and major depression.

Clinipace has boosted its revenue by nearly 350% over the past three years, the company said, managing more than 1,500 clinical trials since its foundation.

- read the statement