Digital contract research agency (dCRO) Clinipace Worldwide has continued its recent run of acquisitions with a definitive merger agreement to snap up all the outstanding shares of fellow US-based CRO Paragon Biomedical and its subsidiaries.

Paragon is privately held and no financial details were released on the merger, which will see Clinipace double in size to more than 430 employees worldwide. The deal significantly expands Clinipace’s therapeutic scope, site-management capabilities, clinical operations and global footprint, the company noted.

It also provides an immediate springboard for growth. With no lay-offs or office closures planned, the combined organisation will continue to hire throughout the year, Clinipace said.  

“It is rare to bring two equally sized companies together without reductions, but these two companies fit together very well and we are pleased to preserve and add jobs,” commented Jeff Williams, chief executive officer of Clinipace Worldwide.

Moreover, a combined contract backlog that has increased nearly four-fold compared with a year ago offers “a great platform for our continued growth and innovation”, Williams added.   

New territories

The merger will bolster Clinipace’s well-established oncology franchise with therapeutic expertise in cardiovascular, central nervous system, infectious and respiratory diseases, immunology, dermatology, and medical devices.  

The combined organisation will have a total of 12 offices in eight countries, with Paragon adding offices in Irvine (US), High Wycombe (UK) and Trivandrum (India) to Clinipace’s existing global network.  

Paragon clients will gain access to Clinipace’s proprietary TEMPO eClinical platform, as well as a “comprehensive and integrated” clinical operations, data management, biostatistics, and regulatory consultancy in North/South America and Europe, the latter noted.

More compelling offering

“Bringing our two companies together provides the foundation for a more compelling service offering, supported by a substantial body of work spanning 20 years, a great reputation for quality, a differentiated technology-enabled clinical operations platform, a strong site management organisation, and an experienced management team,” Williams said.

While Williams continues as chief executive officer of Clinipace, Gena Reed, founder and CEO of Paragon Biomedical, will remain with the combined organisation “in a strategic advisory capacity”, as well as joining the Clinipace board of directors.  

Mark Harvill, previously president and chief operating officer for Paragon, assumes the COO role at Clinipace Worldwide, where he will be responsible for all global service- and delivery-related teams.  

Chris Porter, former COO of Clinipace, will transition to president/general counsel, and will continue to lead corporate and global business-development efforts. Carol Abel, chief financial officer and vice president, administration at Paragon, assumes the position of integration advisor at Clinipace.  

Acquisition trail

In May 2011 Clinipace announced with its second acquisition that year, scooping up Swiss CRO PFC Pharma Focus and its subsidiaries for an undisclosed sum.

PFC brought with it offices in Germany (Munich), Israel (Tel Aviv) and India (New Dehli), in addition to its Zurich base.

At the beginning of March 2011, Clinipace jacked up its regulatory and strategic development expertise by acquiring fellow US company Regulus Pharmaceutical Consulting.