INC Research, the US-based contract research organisation (CRO) that last year was taken over by a private equity firm and a Canadian pension fund, has boosted its consulting capabilities by acquiring the team and research products of AVOS Life Sciences for an undisclosed sum.

Headquartered in Morrisville, US – INC’s base is also in North Carolina state – AVOS provides strategic, operational and financial consulting services to the healthcare industry, assisting with strategic business development and investment choices.

It will now operate as AVOS Consulting, an autonomous division within INC Research reporting directly to the latter’s chief executive officer, James Ogle.

“The addition of the team members and their proven analytical tools will provide immediate value to our existing customers and significantly contribute to our alliance partnerships efforts,” Ogle commented.

Key executives from AVOS, including Neil MacAllister, Keith Ruark, Kathleen Griffin and David Ewbank, “have a solid reputation for providing insights into areas such as healthcare trend assessment, business model development, capital allocation, portfolio optimisation, accelerated drug development models and pricing and market access”, INC noted.

One strand of these activities, explained MacAllister – now president of AVOS Consulting and executive vice president of INC Research –  is working with customers to reach proof of concept quicker and at lower cost, while carrying these efficiencies over to the later stages of clinical development.”

In addition to their consulting expertise, the AVOS team will provide support to INC Research’s Alliance Partnerships programme, which is focused on the creation and management of strategic clinical delivery alliances.

“This new approach to sponsor-CRO relationships is designed to drive maximum value for development programmes through resource flexibility, corporate efficiency and risk mitigation,” INC noted.

The AVOS Consulting division is located at the new INC Research headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Last August, Avista Capital Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan agreed to take over INC Research from an investor group led by Crosspoint Venture Partners and Adams Street Partners.

In June 2009, INC Research paid US$50 million for the Phase II-IV operations of MDS Pharma Services.