JSS Medical Research, the Canadian contract research organisation (CRO) that last autumn took over LatAm Clinical Trials, has chalked up another acquisition in the form of fellow Quebec CRO Integrated Research Inc (IRI).

The two companies have merged, with IRI operating as a fully-owned subsidiary of JSS. The latter has its headquarters in Montreal while IRI is located in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec.

The combined resources constitute a “robust and stable Canadian-based and -owned CRO” with the critical mass, expertise “and, most importantly, experienced senior management” to offer the “highest-quality services covering all of the scientific and operational aspects of clinical research”, said Dr John Sampalis, chief executive officer and president of JSS Medical Research.

The merged company also represents the best of the global and the local, Sampalis maintained. “Now a local CRO will be able to provide the same services as the large multinationals, while maintaining the intimate client relationships that have contributed to our longevity and client loyalty over the last twenty years.”

Dynamic, volatile

No financial details were available on the acquisition. Sampalis couched the deal, as well as last year’s acquisition of LatAm Clinical Trials – a multinational CRO operating in South and Central America – in terms of specific client needs within a “dynamic and volatile” sector.

The expansion into Latin America, which began with the acquisition of LatAm “and will continue with others in Chile, Argentina and Brazil”, reflects increasing requirements for epidemiological and post-marketing studies by regional health authorities and payers in these regions, he noted.

The merger with IRI was driven by the need for a Canadian CRO that can provide “comprehensive high-quality turnkey services” to the Canadian affiliates of international pharmaceutical companies and to Canadian biotechs, Sampalis explained.

In this respect, Integrated Research’s “philosophy with emphasis on high-quality clinical operations governed by integrity and responsiveness to their clients was entirely compatible with the JSS Medical Research’s vision”, he commented.

Core offering

Set up like JSS around two decades ago, IRI provides clinical-research support to pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies.

Its core service offering includes study start-up, project management, site management, data management and monitoring across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

The IRI merger and the LatAm acquisition mean JSS has now “augmented our operational and regulatory expertise across several jurisdictions and expanded the clinical research team to allow us to easily manage our local and international studies”, said vice-president, clinical operations Stella Boukas.

“In addition, our clients will benefit from our Quality Assurance Program which has been audited and tested by several of our global clients.”

Financial benefits

There are also financial benefits, noted Dr Toni Rinow, chief financial officer of JSS Medical Research. The merger will reduce overheads and other costs, contributing to JSS’s financial stability and growth, and with a knock-on effect on clients.

The synergies between JSS and IRI “will provide our clients with a stronger CRO that can address all of their service needs with conservative costs”, Rinow commented, promising “competitive pricing at uncompromised quality”.