BioClinica plots an EU expansion in the midst of its latest merger

Last year, CRO BioClinica saw its most rapid growth in Europe, the company said, and now, as it prepares to join forces with CCBR-Synarc in its second merger in as many years, the clinical trial outfit plans to deepen its investment in the continent.

The eClinical-focused company has made headway with its clinical trial management and interactive response technologies, European chief Martijn Princen said. And BioClinica's growth has allowed to work on a scale previously unseen, including a recent study with 17,000 patients at 442 sites in 17 countries, the company said. Now the CRO says it's amping up its efforts in Europe with the potential to double its continental eClinical presence in 2014.

"One of the pillars for success in this or any geographic market essentially is the eClinical technology itself," Princen said in a statement. "With a web-based, easy-to-use platform, supported by experienced people on the ground here in Europe, more and more companies are selecting BioClinica for both European and global studies."

Meanwhile, the company is working to close a merger with California's CCBR-Synarc. Once the deal wraps up this quarter, the two privately held companies say they will form a market leader in imaging, patient recruitment, clinical trial technology and central lab services.

Last year, private equity firm JLL Partners snapped up BioClinica for $123 million and subsequently merged it with CoreLab Partners, owned by Ampersand Capital Partners, which kept its stake in the combined company. In the latest deal, CCBR-Synarc owner Water Street Healthcare Partners is hanging on to its stake in the CRO, creating a private equity triumvirate at the reins of the new BioClinica.

- read the statement