Frontage Laboratories, a US company that offers bio-analytical, preclinical and drug development services from its base in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has imported “14 years of proven clinical trial capability” by acquiring the 80% it did not already own of Advanced Biomedical Research (ABR), a full-service contract research organisation (CRO) with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Frontage made an initial 20% equity investment in ABR last year. Mopping up the remaining 80% is a key step towards its goal of becoming “a leading full-service provider of quality-driven, responsive, client-centric, collaborative R&D services to the pharmaceutical industry”, Frontage said.

“Over the years, ABR has proven to be a most valuable partner and resource in extending Frontage’s capabilities into the performance and management of clinical trials,” noted Dr Song Li, chairman and chief executive officer of Frontage as well as newly appointed chairman of ABR. “With our R&D services expertise in the US and China, and ABR’s turn-key clinical CRO services for conducting and managing Phase I-IV clinical trials, the addition of ABR to the Frontage family allows us to offer a full spectrum of clinical testing and R&D pharmaceutical services to our clients.”

Operating out of Malvern and Shanghai, China, Frontage provides R&D services ranging from bioanalytical method development, validation and sample analysis to pharmaceutical analysis, formulation development, preclinical and biomarker research, development, manufacture and commercialisation of active pharmaceutical ingredients, regulatory affairs, data management and Good Manufacturing Practice/Good Laboratory Practice consulting.

A Phase I-IV CRO with experience of more than 400 trials in North America, Europe and Asia since 1994, ABR runs the gamut from clinical study design to strategic and regulatory consulting, project management, monitoring, clinical data management, biostatistics, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis, quality assurance auditing, medical writing, pharmacovigilance and regulatory submissions. The company has a 72-bed Clinical Research Center in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Dr Michael Willett, ABR founder and president, said he was “delighted to remain an integral part of ABR and to become a key member of the Frontage management team. By combining Frontage’s R&D services and rapidly expanding presence in the US and China with ABR’s international clinical CRO capabilities and experience in North America and Europe, we are positioned as few others to provide scientifically driven, on-time, cost-effective solutions to our clients through the life cycle of a compound’s development.”