Premier Research Group, the UK-based contract research organisation (CRO) that is being taken over by private equity interests, has formed a partnership with Octagon Research Solutions, a US company described as “a leader in the electronic transformation of clinical R&D in the life sciences industry”.

Based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, with European headquarters in Berkhamsted, UK and electronic data capture (EDC) operations in Mountain View, California, Octagon provides a range of regulatory, clinical, process and information technology solutions, including electronic submissions, to the life sciences industry.

The partnership brings together Octagon’s expertise in electronic filing with Premier Research’s extensive clinical expertise across a broad array of therapeutic areas including analgesia, central nervous system (CNS) conditions, infectious diseases and oncology, the two companies noted.

Premier Research will offer Octagon’s electronic submission capabilities as part of its Regulatory Affairs services, while Octagon will extend Premier’s regulatory development and scientific strategy operations to its own clients.

James Ottinger, Premier Research’s vice-president of global consulting and compliance, said the company was “pleased to be working with an organisation that also values our deep commitment to being a ‘solution provider’ for our clients”.

According to Jim Walker, chairman and chief executive officer of Octagon Research Solutions, Premier “has a solid history of consistent, quality delivery that aligns with our own high standard of operation”.

In March Premier Research agreed to a takeover offer worth around £60.1 million (€76.3 million) from Pegasus Bidco, an acquisition vehicle backed by private equity firm ECI, financier Indigo and the Premier management.

Like Synexus, the ‘hub site’ recruitment specialist that last November yielded to a £18.1 million buyout from Lyceum Capital, Premier had seen its expansion plans thwarted by a dramatic slump in its share price, which hit a low of 34 pence in December 2007. That was after the company announced in August that it had received a “very preliminary” bid approach from certain members of its executive management team.