Icon has strengthened its hand in resourcing and functional service provision (FSP) for clinical trials, as well as boosting its pharmacovigilance and drug-safety consulting capabilities, with an agreement to acquire the Clinical Trial Services Division of US staffing specialist Cross Country Healthcare.

Subject to closing conditions, Icon will pay US$52 million in cash for the Cross Country division, plus an earn-out component of up to US$3.75 million tied to certain performance-based milestones.

The deal is expected to close within the next 30 days, noted the global provider of outsourced development services based in Ireland. 

Cross Country Healthcare’s main focus is on providing nurse, physician and allied staffing services to the healthcare market.

Its Clinical Trial Services Division includes ClinForce and Assent Consulting, described as leading US resourcing providers whose services take in contract staffing, permanent placement and functional service provision.

The division also incorporates AKOS, which Icon says is a leading provider of pharmacovigilance and drug safety services in the United States and the European Union.

Icon will combine ClinForce and Assent with its existing FSP division, DOCS, creating “a leader in global resourcing and FSP”. AKOS will be added to the capabilities of Icon’s medical and safety services team.

Demand for flexible resourcing

Icon put its US-based staffing business on a global footing in July 2007 when it acquired DOCS International, a European clinical research staffing organisation based in the Netherlands.

Last November Icon launched its FSP Delivery Platform, consolidating the company’s resourcing and functional service provision solutions under the DOCS banner.

“The demand for flexible resourcing solutions continues to grow as biopharma companies employ a range of outsourcing models to meet their development goals more efficiently,” commented Ciaran Murray, Icon’s chief executive officer.

“The ClinForce and Assent businesses will significantly expand our resourcing and FSP capabilities in the US and, when combined with DOCS strong European footprint and growing emerging markets presence, give us the ability to deliver truly global resourcing solutions.”