A deal with 'significant efficiencies'

CNS acquires business assets of long-time partner BELTAS

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BRISBANE, Australia—Clinical Network Services (CNS), anAustralian contract research organization (CRO) that offers integrated developmentservices for the planning, implementation and delivery of Phase I and IItrials, has announced the acquisition of the business assets of BELTAS, anAuckland, New Zealand-based CRO and longtime partner of CNS.

The acquisition was officially completed at the end of 2012, and BELTAS'related contracts and clinical staff were transferred to CNS. No financialterms were disclosed.
"2012 has been a tremendous year for CNS and has seen usgrow significantly over the last 12 months, expand our regional CRA base so wecan better service local sites in Perth and Melbourne as well as further beddown our BioDesk services," Russell Neal, managing director of CNS, said in apress release. "This acquisition continues our goal of widening ourcapabilities across Australia and New Zealand, and by bringing together thesetwo highly skilled clinical teams with years of collective experience, we areable to offer our clients a truly regional solution."
Neal says that the acquisition is one that the company hasbeen considering for some time "in response to the growth in the number of CNS'clients looking to capitalize on other opportunities local to Australia." 
"Bringing [New Zealand] into the broader Australian solutionis not a new concept, but as CNS has been reliant on our partner to achievethis to date, we recognized that there were significant efficiencies such anacquisition would effect and thus improve our client service yet further … I amdelighted to say we have been able to achieve this very quickly and effectively,"he adds. 
The acquisition includes most of BELTAS' business assets,though BELTAS has retained some business functions, says Neal, including localtraining services. Among the acquired assets are BELTAS' ongoing New Zealandstudies and its clinical research team.
"The fact that all of the team have been working under CNSproject managers for, in some cases, several years, has allowed for a verysmooth and seamless transition," says Neal. "This has been evidenced bypositive support we have already received from our clients."
Neal notes that CNS has always sought to "have a deepunderstanding of just what can be delivered by our region and how that benefitsour clients' global product development strategies." Along those lines, hesays, this transaction fits "extremely well" into CNS' growth strategy, whichis "to add capabilities that first and foremost leverage that local capabilityin a way that directly and positively adds value to our clients' investment inthis region and expedites their development timelines." Adding CNS capabilitiesin New Zealand, says Neal, "clearly met this strategy criteria."
CNS and BELTAS have been partners for several years, Nealnotes, adding that "establishing committed, quality partnerships has very muchbeen CNS' strategy since our inception in the 1990s, both locally andinternationally."
"Working together in this manner has always been recognizedas a sound business precursor to establishing closer relationships until suchtime as to unlock front and back office efficiencies requires combining theentities," he says. "This has very much been the case with CNS and BELTAS, butspecifically in respect to our clinical services. As BELTAS have other businessunits such as training that aren't part of CNS' core business, it also madesense for BELTAS to continue such services in their own way whilst allowing CNSto continue to focus solely on the provision of our intelligent productdevelopment services."
CNS caters to virtual, small- and medium-sized biotech companies,and offers services such as product development and regulatory affairs planningand development, clinical planning and study startup, monitoring, projectmanagement, data management/biostatistics, medical consultancy/monitoring,medical writing, bioanalytical services and safety reporting.

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