Risk-sharing CRO Ergomed banks $18.9M and awaits a U.K. IPO

U.K. researcher Ergomed is set to debut on the London stock exchange, raising £11 million ($18.9 million) to wrap up an acquisition and expand its global footprint.

Ergomed has unloaded about 6.9 million shares, netting about $16.6 million as it gears up to trade on the London AIM market under "ERGO" starting July 15. Once the offering closes, the company plans to exchange £6 million ($10.3 million) and 1.9 million shares to get its hands on PrimeVigilance, a pharmacovigilance reporting outfit that will operate as an independent subsidiary under Ergomed's watch.

The two companies brought in a combined $33 million last year, Ergomed said, and joining forces will further pad revenues for the already-profitable CRO. Ergomed operates in more than 40 countries and counts some of the world's largest drugmakers among its roughly 60 clients, including Sanofi ($SNY), Merck KGaA and Hikma, the company said.

The London CRO divides its business into two segments: a services unit that works like a traditional contractor, handling studies from early phases to post-marketing; and a co-development arm, which inks risk-sharing deals that trade development work for a share of future revenue on a product.

Going forward, Ergomed's growth strategy hinges on homing in on rare diseases and orphan drug development, integrating PrimeVigilance's safety testing, and locking down more co-development agreements, CEO Miroslav Reljanovic said.

"As an international, profitable and fast-growing company with a 15-year track record of providing global drug development services, Ergomed is well positioned to capitalize on industry trends to outsource drug development services, as well as the continued need for alternative sources of funding for drug development by both mid-cap pharmaceutical and biotech companies," Reljanovic said in a statement.

- read the statement