Clinipace dives into Asia with Choice Pharma buyout

Clinipace CEO Jeff Williams

North Carolina's Clinipace is looking to scale up its global presence, buying out Hong Kong CRO Choice Pharma and planning to merge its operations into a transcontinental player.

Without disclosing financial details, Clinipace said the deal adds 20 offices in 15 countries to Clinipace's existing infrastructure, including new operations in Taiwan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia. Since buying its way into India in 2011, Clinipace has been looking to expand its reach in Asia, and Choice presented the ideal opportunity to do just that, CEO Jeff Williams said.

"In order to continue to address the changing industry landscape and the high demand by clients for operations in Asia, we began the process of determining the best path for investing in the growth of our company, which led us to Choice Pharma," Williams said in a statement. "With complementary operational strengths, a great reputation for quality and an experienced management team, the decision to combine the two companies was the best solution to continue to meet the long-term strategic goals of clients on both sides."

Clinipace isn't planning any layoffs or closings in the merger, and once the deal is done, the CRO will employ more than 640 people in 30 countries while maintaining its headquarters in Research Triangle Park, NC. Former Choice Pharma Managing Director Chris Wang will stay on as head of the combined company's Asian operation, bridging her outfit's local expertise with Clinipace's wide platform, she said.

"Not only can our clients leverage Clinipace's (digital CRO) delivery model, but they now have access to a comprehensive and integrated clinical operations, data management, biostatistics and regulatory consultancy outside of Asia," Wang said in a statement.

Clinipace has made its name serving mid-sized biotech and medical device firms, touting its end-to-end eClinical platform as an efficient, cost-effective method for managing data and running trials in a wealth of therapeutic areas.

This is the company's 5th acquisition in as many years, following deals for Paragon Biomedical, PFC Pharma, Regulus Pharmaceutical and Worldwide Clinical Research. Fairmont Partners orchestrated the Choice acquisition, its third deal this year after Cinven's $915 million buyout of CRO Medpace and Covance's ($CVD) sale of a genomics operation to LabCorp ($LH).

- read the announcement

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