US-based eClinical specialist PharmaLinkFHI has widened its service offerings and international presence by acquiring Matrix Contract Research in the UK for an undisclosed sum.

Formed by clinical research professionals in North Carolina 10 years ago, PharmaLinkFHI describes itself as “the first full-service clinical research organisation to integrate clinical and technological expertise in managing Phase I-IV clinical trials online in real time”.

Matrix, which has its headquarters in Stevenage as well as a regional office in Moscow, Russia and local staff in more than 20 countries, says it was the first contract research organisation (CRO) in the UK actively to promote e-trials, including use of the Inform platform for electronic data capture (EDC) and the Infolink trial management system. The company also runs paper-based trials and a flexible clinical recruitment unit, Matrix Clinical Solutions.

The two companies have already teamed up “on numerous occasions” for global clinical trial implementation and management, they noted. The acquisition will now augment Matrix’s core clinical services, which include project management, clinical monitoring and regulatory support, with PharmaLink’s US clinical resources and its global e-data management and biostatistical groups to provide clients with “full-service, turnkey, global research services”.

In addition, Matrix Clinical Solutions will combine with PharmaLink’s staffing division, eReady Monitors, to offer a broader spread of flexible resourcing solutions.

“After several years of robust growth, it was critical for PharmaLink to expand its clinical reach and client service offerings and become a global company,” commented president and chief executive officer Richard Staub. “The integration of Matrix with PharmaLink’s unique eClinical service delivery model will allow us jointly to better serve our clients who require development services throughout North America [and] Western, Central and Eastern Europe including Russia.”

Nigel Trim, president of Matrix Contract Research, will head up European operations for the combined company.