ClinTec has secured a £8 million investment from private equity firm Elephant Capital Plc, which has entered the clinical research space by taking a 28.6% stake in the UK-based contract research organisation (CRO).

The investment will be made through Elephant Capital’s Mauritian arm, Tusk Investments Fund 1. In addition, Gaurav Burman and James Hauslein, managing partner and non-executive director of Elephant Capital, will make personal investments of £150,000 and £200,000 respectively in ClinTec.

Hauslein and Gurav Burman, as well as Dr Anand Burman, chairman of fast-moving consumer goods company Dabur, are taking up seats on the now seven-member ClinTec board.

Elephant Capital focuses on growth companies in India, where ClinTec has its second largest office – in Bangalore – after its headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland. The £8 million investment in ClinTec is geared to expanding the CRO’s presence in India and the wider Asia Pacific region.

In 2002 ClinTec was among the first global CROs to establish operations in India, Elephant Capital noted. ClinTec has since built its Bangalore office, which employs 45 out of the CRO’s total staff of around 250, into a hub for its full range of clinical services, including medical writing, data management and project management.

The company has also carved out a strong presence in emerging markets overall, with 10 years’ experience in Central and Eastern Europe, eight in Asia and seven in the Middle East and North Africa/Latin America.

Elephant Capital will “leverage their substantial network in India and internationally, to aid the further expansion of ClinTec operations in India”, the latter said. “The partnership will also facilitate expansion into the Asia Pacific region, with ClinTec’s long-established Bangalore office serving as the regional hub for clinical research activity.”

Over the past decade, expenditure on outsourced clinical services has been rising at a compound annual growth rate of 13.4%, reflecting pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to reduce costs and improve efficiency, Elephant Capital pointed out.

ClinTec is “extremely well placed in this market, with an excellent geographical footprint, solid track record in both Western and emerging markets, and well-established relationships with many of the pharmaceutical majors”, it commented.