US-based clinical research organization (CRO) INC Research has extended its global footprint into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with the acquisition of MEK Consulting.

With headquarters in Lebanon as well as operations in Greece, Turkey and the MENA region, MEK Consulting is a CRO focused on clinical monitoring that has worked with INC Research for more than a decade.

No financial terms were disclosed for the acquisition. MEK Consulting will now operate as INC Research and will conduct business under that name.

Myriam El-Khazen and Selim Dagher, who founded MEK Consulting in 1999, will take on the roles of general manager and executive director, commercial operations respectively in the renamed business, with overall responsibility for managing INC Research’s presence in the MENA region.

Complementary expertise

MEK Consulting brings on board more than 40 employees spread across five countries, a well-established infrastructure, and complementary therapeutic expertise that includes oncology, general medicine and rare diseases, INC noted.

The transaction positions INC Research as a leading drug-development partner in the MENA countries, opening up access to more than 200 million new patients, the company said.  

“The MENA region offers significant opportunities for new drug development due to its large patient populations, highly qualified medical personnel and increasingly sophisticated regulatory environments,” commented chief executive officer Jamie Macdonald.