TÜV SÜD, a diversified testing, inspection and technical services company based in Munich, Germany, has broken into the clinical research market by acquiring all the shares of Belgian contract research organisation (CRO) MSOURCE for an undisclosed sum.

MSOURCE will be incorporated into a new Life Sciences business unit within TÜV SÜD’s PEOPLE division, which supplies clients such as hospitals, nursing homes and medical device manufacturers with services ranging from certification of products or management systems to occupational health and safety.

At the same time, the German company noted, MSOURCE will “remain an independent organisation and entity in the TÜV SÜD group”. Dr Adriaan Hart de Ruijter will continue to lead the management team as managing director, TÜV SÜD Life Sciences, while the headquarters of MSOURCE will stay in Kraainem, close to Brussels.

With a staff of more than 240 operating out of Kraainem as well as offices in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK, MSOURCE has been offering contract research services such as clinical trial management, clinical data management, biostatistics, medical writing, clinical contract hire, pharmacovigilance, medical affairs, quality assurance and regulatory support to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies since 1994.

The acquisition extends TÜV SÜD’s “dedication to product reliability, safety and quality” to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries while broadening the company’s offer to medical device manufacturers, it pointed out.

“The opportunity to apply TÜV SÜD’s certification, testing and management skills to clinical research services is the main reason to make this important step forward,” commented Professor Dr. Peter Schaff, managing director of the PEOPLE division. “There is a distinct need for quality in each step of the clinical research process, while the complexity and global reach of clinical trials increase every year.”

Hart de Ruijter, who was the co-founder and managing director of MSOURCE, said the deal created “an important new contract research organisation with the stability of a major company, combined with the flexibility and responsiveness of a mid size CRO”.

The choice of TÜV SÜD to underpin MSOURCE’s global expansion plans rested on “a shared vision on quality and future strategy”, he explained, adding: “The access to worldwide facilities and capital enables us to respond better to our client’s needs”.