US-based contract research organisation (CRO) Pharm-Olam International says it will “aggressively” explore acquisitions of other CROs and industry technology providers.

The declaration of intent came as Pharm-Olam, a full-service CRO present in more than 40 countries spanning North America, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, India and South Africa, announced the appointment of a new strategic development director, Matt Delaney.

Delaney was previously director of corporate strategy for Dell Computer over a 10-year period that included four years of “extraordinary” growth, from a US$7 billion to a more than US$28 billion company, Pharm-Olam noted.

“Matt’s experience bringing several companies under one umbrella will prove invaluable as we broaden our core CRO offerings and strengthen our presence through acquisitions,” said Dr Zev Munk, chief executive officer of Pharm-Olam.

Set up in 1994 with the original aim of providing cost-effective, quick-to-market clinical services in Central and Eastern Europe, the CRO operates what is calls a “global decentralization” model. This involves using Pharma-Olam’s own local staff to perform all regulatory work, study set-up and monitoring for clinical trials.

According to the company, this approach helps sponsors get trials off the ground faster and reduces pass-through costs over the duration of a study.