UK-based specialist contract research organisation (CRO) Phlexglobal is promising further growth, from its electronic Trial Master Files (eTMF) business in particular, after completing a management buyout backed by private equity investor Inflexion Private Equity.

No financial details were disclosed on the buyout, which sees Phlexglobal’s former financial director, Stella Donoghue, taking up the reins as managing director while Kevin James, former managing director for Wyeth Laboratories in the UK and Ireland, joins Phlexglobal as chairman.

Nicola Murgatroyd, the founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of Phlexglobal, has left the company following the management buyout and will now focus her attentions onorganisations in the care sector, where she is already a governor of theEpilepsy Society. Murgatroyd has not been directly replaced as CEO of Phlexglobal, the company said.

The reshuffled management team also includes Karen Redding, who stays on as global business development manager, technical director John Lazenby and Sarah Tucker, who has been appointed internally as director of eTMF operations.

James has more than 30 years’ pharmaceutical industry experience. After leaving Wyeth, he spent five years in the private equity market and is currently chairman of Rosemont Pharmaceuticals. The new Phlexglobal board will consist of James, Donoghue and Redding, as well as Richard Swann and Nicola Boyd from Inflexion, who join as non-executive directors.

Phlexglobal said the management buyout would allow the company to expand further its provision of clinical trial support, a “significant part of which” was the management of global trial master files, both in paper and electronic formats. The recent launch of version 3 of PhlexEview, the company’s eTMF solution, would underpin this growth, Phlexglobal added. 

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the eTMF uptake will follow that trend set by electronic data capture, which is now used for the majority of clinical trials,” James commented. “Phlexglobal, with its unique software and service model, will remain at the forefront of this evolving part of the market.”

As Inflexion pointed out, the PhlexEview system developed by Phlexglobal in 2006, combined with the company’s related scanning and archiving services, “is now the principal thrust of the business”.

Phlexglobal will open its second US office in a month’s time in Philadelphia, it noted. Together with the management buyout, this will “provide a valuable platform for the company to move into new markets including Asia-Pacific, while still maintaining its strong presence in the UK and North America”, the company said.