INC buys its way into the Middle East with MEK deal

INC Research is doubling down on the Middle East, buying up a longtime partner to tighten its grip on a region the CRO says is rapidly developing into a go-to market for clinical research.

With its deal for the Lebanon-headquartered MEK Consulting, INC is trading an undisclosed sum for a 15-year-old CRO with operations in Turkey, Egypt and Greece and experience in more than 120 studies. MEK focuses on clinical monitoring, INC said, with infrastructure and expertise to support trials in oncology, general medicine, rare diseases and other fields.

From here on out, MEK will do business under the INC name, and its founders, Myriam El-Khazen and Selim Dagher, will take on the respective roles of general manager and executive director of commercial operations for the parent company's regional presence.

For INC, the buyout builds on a long-standing relationship with MEK and broadens the CRO's reach in the Middle East and North Africa, giving it access to more than 200 million new patients, CEO Jamie Macdonald figures.

"The MENA region offers significant opportunities for new drug development due to its large patient populations, highly qualified medical personnel and increasingly sophisticated regulatory environments," Macdonald said in a statement. "The acquisition of MEK Consulting provides INC Research's customers with access to this expanding region for biopharmaceutical development and further demonstrates our commitment to connect them to everything they need to conduct their trials."

INC has been working to expand its global footprint since Macdonald took the reins last year, opening offices in Japan and poaching Big Pharma execs to lead its regulatory consulting, research monitoring and clinical development segments.

- read the announcement

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