KCR, a Polish contract research organisation (CRO) based in Warsaw but active throughout Central Europe, Russia and Western Europe, has acquired Czech CRO DUX Consulting for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, which is being funded from KCR’s own resources and bank loans, is aimed at building a strong presence in the clinical research markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It will also help to enlarge KCR’s current client base and present a more attractive offering to potential new clients looking for a broader range of research services, the CRO said.

Formerly known as Kiecana Clinical Research, KCR claims to be the largest Polish-based research and development company carrying out clinical research in Central Europe. In addition to its Warsaw headquarters, the company has subsidiaries in Ukraine, the Baltic states and Russia. Dux has headquarters in Prague and a wholly owned subsidiary in Slovakia, DUX s.r.o.

Founded in 1993 DUX is the leading CRO in the Czech market, KCR noted. It has conducted nearly150 clinical trials in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, generating estimated revenues of PLN 10 million (€2.80 million) in 2007, with margins “comparable” to those of KCR.

DUX started out providing clinical trial services but later expanded its scope to drug registration, post-marketing safety studies, observational studies and other medico-marketing activities.

KCR is focused on Phase II-IV development and has carried out 80 trials, working with some 7,200 medical centres, during its 10-year existence. Its experience ranges from early-phase studies with several dozen patients to global multicentre studies enrolling thousands of participants, as well as project management and post-marketing surveillance.

In the first half of 2007 KCR reported revenues of PLN 10.4 million, up by 26% over the same period of 2006. Half-year earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were PLN 1.1 million (+389%) and net profit was PLN 0.9 million (+536%).

“The purchase of 100% of the shares in a company operating in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is the first step in the implementation of our strategy,” commented KCR president Adam Kruszewski. “Our intention is to build, as soon as it is possible, a home-based capital group which will carry out clinical research in the Central and Eastern European countries.”

Igor Mina_ík, founder and chief executive officer of DUX Consulting, has joined KCR as vice-president.