SynteractHCR, a multinational full-service contract research organisation (CRO) with headquarters in California and offices in 16 countries across the US, Western and Eastern Europe, Israel and South America, has emerged as a new outsourcing resource following the acquisition of Harrison Clinical Research by US-based CRO Synteract.

No financial details were released on the transaction, under which Wendel Barr, chief executive officer (CEO) at Synteract since he joined the company from Covance in July 2011, will lead the combined operation from Synteract’s existing US base in Carlsbad, San Diego Country.

Dr Francisco Harrison, founder and former chairman of Harrison Cliinical Research (HCR), will stay on as a senior member of the SynteractHCR executive team while joining the new company’s board of directors.

Stewart Bieler, former chief operating officer at Synteract, becomes SynteractHCR’s president of US operations and former HCR CEO Benedikt van Nieuwenhove has been named the merged company’s president of European operations.

Top-tier CRO

A portfolio company of Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based private equity firm that was the lead financial partner in the acquisition, SynteractHCR is positioning itself as a “top-tier, global CRO” with the additional resources and scale to support large, later-phase clinical development programmes.

With a total staff count of more than 800, the combined company’s international reach includes its San Diego headquarters and two offices on the East coast of the US, in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and Princeton, New Jersey (HCR’s former US outlet).

SynteractHCR also maintains a clinical in-patient unit in Germany as well as a clinical-research training centre in Belgium.

Synteract and HCR have a “complementary heritage” of managing Phase I-IV clinical trials across multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, the central nervous system, infectious disease, endocrinology, cardiovascular and respiratory, the new company noted.

A continued priority for SynteractHCR will be keeping up strong relationships with emerging to mid-sized biopharmaceutical companies, taking a consultative approach backed up by strong clinical development expertise.

Personal touch

“Our longstanding drug-development expertise allows us to form a new global leader with enhanced scale and therapeutic breadth, but with the personal approach that we have always taken to working with clients,” Barr commented.

 “We will provide a continuum of service that allows us to work with clients throughout the entire development life cycle, from emerging products through post-marketing, and will bring technology efficiencies to the company that will help to take time and cost out of drug development.”