- Investment from large investors attracted into SMO industry
- Consolidation of multi-site networks indicates maturing market
London, UK – Global Healthcare Opportunities, or GHO Capital Partners LLP (GHO), the European specialist investor in global healthcare, acknowledges the announcement from its portfolio company, Velocity Clinical, regarding the acquisition of 11 new US sites.
Velocity Clinical Research (“Velocity”) today announces it has acquired two multi-site companies, VitaLink Research (“VitaLink”) and the National Research Institute (“NRI”), for an undisclosed amount. The double acquisition adds 11 sites to Velocity’s existing 18, making it the largest fully integrated site management organisation in the world and signaling the next phase in the evolution of the industry.
South Carolina-based VitaLink Research operates a network of six (6) sites in the central and western part of the state, including the Greenville/Spartanburg corridor. California-based National Research Institute has five (5) facilities in the greater Los Angeles area. The combination of VitaLink and NRI will further boost Velocity’s therapeutic reach and recruiting power. Velocity’s goal to reach more minority populations is particularly enhanced through NRI’s Los Angeles-area locations and bilingual staff.
Dr G. Paul Evans, Chief Executive and President of Velocity Clinical Research, said, “Velocity has moved into the next phase of its development. We have accelerated the pace of site acquisitions this year, bringing VitaLink and NRI’s experience into our fully integrated site network.
When consolidators start buying up the consolidators, it signals a maturing market. The clinical trials site landscape is going to look very different a year from now. We anticipate most of the large site organisations will change ownership in the coming months, as large investors take an increased interest in the sector.”
Velocity will provide additive business development effort and streamlined service delivery to VitaLink and NRI, which have already demonstrated they can perform well in high volume studies. Combined, the companies will multiply their strengths with enhanced therapeutic expertise and shared operational functions. Prior to acquisition, Velocity, VitaLink, and NRI independently enrolled over 10% of the COVID vaccine volunteers in the US.
Evans added, “Patient recruitment is a key factor in speeding up drug development. The site management industry attempted to consolidate back in the 90s but this time, it’s different. The focus now is on site integration rather than affiliation, allowing for greater control and leading to more efficient data collection and delivery.
The race to find a COVID vaccine provided impetus to speed up clinical research and demonstrated the benefit it has in getting drugs to market faster. Our goal is to offer big pharma companies access to a range of integrated sites that have a range of therapeutic capabilities through one single contact point, making site selection easier. This will ultimately change the way pharmaceutical companies approach global drug development and the reason why we believe more capital is flowing into the sector now.”
Management from both companies will occupy key roles within Velocity, strengthening its senior management bench. Steve Clemons, CEO of VitaLink, is Velocity’s new SVP of Client Delivery. Samira Moran, CEO of NRI, is Velocity’s new SVP of Specialist Care Delivery.
All of Velocity’s sites are fully integrated via a centralised infrastructure and common technology backbone, allowing for superior patient enrollment and consistent, high quality data delivery.
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GHO Capital Partners LLP
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About GHO Capital
Global Healthcare Opportunities, or GHO Capital Partners LLP, is a leading specialist healthcare investment advisor based in London. We apply global capabilities and perspectives to unlock high growth healthcare opportunities, targeting Pan-European and transatlantic internationalisation to build market leading businesses of strategic global value. Our proven investment track record reflects the unrivalled depth of our industry expertise and network. We partner with strong management teams to generate long-term sustainable value, improving the efficiency of healthcare delivery to enable better, faster, more accessible healthcare. For further information, please visit www.ghocapital.com.
About Velocity Clinical Research
Velocity Clinical Research, headquartered in Durham, NC, is the leading integrated site organisation for clinical trials, offering dedicated site capabilities to help biopharmaceutical and contract research organisation customers find the right patients for their studies. Velocity supports global drug development in primarily conducting phase II and phase III clinical trials. The company has 30 US locations across 14 states.
We place the care of the patient at the heart of everything we do. With over 35 years of experience running sites and more than 7,000 studies completed, Velocity has refined its patient recruitment strategies while maintaining a focus on delivering timely and reliable data quality. For more information, please visit www.velocityclinical.com.
About VitaLink Research
Founded in 2004, VitaLink has six dedicated sites in South Carolina: Greenville, Spartanburg, Union, Gaffney, Anderson, and Columbia. They specialise in vaccines, dermatology, respiratory and pulmonary diseases, women’s health, and internal medicine, with over 31,000 volunteers in their database. For more information, please visit www.vitalinkresearch.com.
About National Research Institute
With over 30 years of experience conducting Phase I-IV Clinical Trials, NRI has five site locations in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas: Wilshire (HQ), Gardena, Huntington Park, Panorama City, and Santa Ana. With over 100 employees, they specialise in metabolic disease (diabetes type II, obesity), hypertension, hyperlipidemia, women’s health, liver disease (NASH, NAFLD), psychiatry, neurology, vaccines, and general medicine. For more information, please visit www.nritrials.com.