Synexus Adding On

Synexus, a clinical trial recruiter and operator backed by Lyceum Capital, has agreed to acquire Leipzig-based ClinPharm for an undisclosed amount.


Synexus has agreed to acquire Leipzig based ClinPharm and will complete the acquisition in January 2010. This deal will increase the number of Synexus’ Dedicated Research Centres to 26 in nine countries, thus significantly strengthening its European reach and further reinforcing its position as the global leader.

Synexus is the world’s largest multi-national company entirely focussed on the recruitment and running of clinical trials at its own Dedicated Research Centres. While it has a network of research centres in Central and Eastern Europe, this acquisition will add eight research centres in Germany. It will strengthen Synexus’ Central and Eastern Europe portfolio of centres in Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria with additional sites in Austria and Ukraine, enhancing its platform in an area of significant importance to its clients. Synexus now has research centres in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, South Africa and Asia.

Synexus’ clinical trial patient recruitment proposition has gained considerable momentum over the past couple of years as the pharma industry has realised that its ‘new model’ really does live up to its promises of being able to access greater patient populations at an expedited rate for a lower total cost, while ensuring consistently high quality clinical outcomes.

The ClinPharm acquisition will increase Synexus’ total patient population reach to over 30 million patients; an increase of 50 per cent globally and 100 per cent across Europe. No other patient recruitment organisation can compete in terms of size or scale. ClinPharm also brings considerable additional therapy area experience to Synexus.

This acquisition follows a period of considerable growth for Synexus. It has traded in line with expectations, experiencing substantial growth in revenues, profits and order book value over the past three financial years and over a 100 per cent increase in net profit in the last financial year. In addition to organic growth, fuelled by the interest in its unique model, acquisitions are a key component of Synexus’ growth strategy. This rapid expansion has been made possible by the financial support of private equity fund Lyceum Capital, who backed a management buyout of the business in 2007, enabling it to de-list from AIM. Working with Lyceum, the management team has since pursued an aggressive growth strategy to help Synexus capitalise on increasing international demand for the professionalisation of recruiting and running clinical trials at customised research centres, staffed by full-time investigators. This has included two previous complementary acquisitions.

Commenting on the deal, Synexus Chief Executive Michael Fort said: “The Synexus concept has been proven. We made, what were perceived to be, bold statements about our capabilities. Our work with some of the world’s leading pharma companies has, however, now convinced the market that we do represent the new way of finding patients and running clinical trials at Dedicated Research Centres. In order to keep pace with the market’s demands it is necessary for us to increase our infrastructure and patient reach. ClinPharm provided the ideal opportunity as they have considerable presence in Western, Central and Eastern Europe and also understand the way we work.”

The deal will be finalised in January 2010 after ClinPharm’s year end. ClinPharm’s founding CEO, Hans-Detlev Stahl MD, Ph.D. (Melb). F.R.A.C.P joins Synexus as European Medical Director. Dr Stahl has considerable experience both clinically, having worked as a Consultant Specialist in Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology and, more specifically, in clinical trials having worked as a Principal Investigator and Co-ordinating Investigator for over 10 years. In addition he is widely published with over 50 scientific publications and two textbooks bearing his name.

Dr Stahl commented: “It was a natural fit to team up with Synexus. We know each other very well and our geographic coverage is totally complementary. Together we are much stronger and I look forward to helping the new company with further expansion which delivers real benefits to our clients in pharma.”

Dr Helena Sigal, currently ClinPharm’s Director of Operations, will become Synexus’ Country Manager in Germany. The Austrian and Ukrainian clinics will join Synexus’ existing CEE region reporting to Dr Christian Tueni, CEE Regional Director. Both Drs Sigal and Tueni will report to Jane Restorick, Snr VP International Operations.

Synexus notes

Synexus® headquartered in Manchester, England, is the world’s largest multi-national company dedicated to the recruitment and running of clinical trials at its own research centres across the globe on behalf of its pharmaceutical, biotech and CRO clients. Synexus now has 26 Dedicated Research Centres across the UK, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Bulgaria, India and South Africa staffed by full-time GCP-trained investigators.

The traditional way of recruiting for clinical trials through individual doctors is still by far the most common method, despite the fact that each doctor only recruits an average of five patients per study and more than 40 percent recruit one or less. This incredibly costly model remains the norm.