UK-based patient recruitment and clinical-trial management business Synexus has agreed to acquire ClinPharm International GmbH, which runs a network of investigator hub sites from its headquarters in Leipzig Germany.

No price was disclosed for the acquisition, which will bring Synexus eight research centres in Germany as well as reinforcing its Central & Eastern Europe portfolio with additional sites in Austria and Ukraine. According to the UK company, the deal will boost its total patient population reach to more than 30 million patients, an increase of 50% worldwide and 100% across Europe.

ClinPharm was set up in 2000 under chief executive officer Dr Hans-Detlev Stahl, who will now join Synexus as European medical director. Dr Helena Sigal, ClinPharm’s director of operations, will become Synexus’ country manager for Germany. The ClinPharm sites in Austria and Ukraine will be incorporated into Synexus’s CEE region, reporting to regional director Dr Christian Tueni.

The acquisition will be finalised in January 2010 following ClinPharm’s year-end. As well as expanding markedly Synexus’ available patient population, the deal will provide the UK company with “considerable additional therapy area experience”, it noted. “No other patient recruitment organisation can compete in terms of size or scale,” it claimed.

The acquisition comes on the back of a period of substantial growth for Synexus, with net profit more than doubling in the last financial year, it added. The company’s rapid expansion is a testament to the financial support of private equity fund Lyceum Capital, which backed a management buyout of the business in 2007.

Since then, Synexus has pursued an aggressive growth strategy to help it “capitalise on increasing international demand for the professionalisation of recruiting and running clinical trials at customised research centres, staffed by full-time investigators”, the company , Synexus pointed out.

According to chief executive Michael Fort, Synexus’s work with “some of the world’s leasing pharma companies” has now “convinced the market that we do represent the new way of finding patients and running clinical trials at Dedicated Research Centres”.

To keep pace with market demand, “it is necessary for us to increase our infrastructure and patient reach”, Fort added. “ClinPharm provided the ideal opportunity as they have considerable presence in Western, Central and Eastern Europe and also understand the way we work”.

In August, Synexus deepened its presence in Central and Eastern Europe by acquiring three more clinical trial centres in Poland. This closely followed a burst of activity in the CEE markets in June, when Synexus opened a regional office in Hungary, appointed a new site director in Poland and appointed Dr Tueni, to manage the company’s growing business throughout the region.