Consolidating CROs

Chiltern to acquire Theorem Clinical Research and become eighth-largest CRO globally

Kelsey Kaustinen
LONDON & WILMINGTON, N.C.—Contract research organization (CRO) Chiltern is expanding its business and offerings with the pending acquisition of fellow CRO Theorem Clinical Research. According to Dr. Jim Esinhart, CEO of Chiltern, “This is a direct response to client demand for a clinical research partner that can provide scientific and operating strengths globally, in a responsive and flexible way. This transaction will bring together more than 3,700 people in more than 45 countries dedicated to the philosophy of ‘Designed Around You.'”
 
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval, and at the time of the early-August announcement was expected to close within several weeks thereafter (there was no official announcement of closing as of press time for this issue). The financial details for the deal were not made public. Chiltern noted in a press kit that it has no plans to close any existing offices, though the issue “will be further evaluated in the months following completion of the transaction.”
 
“Chiltern and Theorem have carved out complementary niches, even across key geographies,” Theorem President and CEO Dr. John Potthoff remarked in a press release. “In key areas, our capabilities will dovetail into current Chiltern operations—this is a mutually beneficial deal.”
 
Theorem is a full-service CRO with offices in more than 30 countries, and its global headquarters are situated in King of Prussia, Pa. The combined entity will move forward under the name Chiltern, and Esinhart will lead the company as its CEO. The company’s European headquarters will be located in Slough, United Kingdom, with U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, N.C. The acquisition will expand Chiltern’s existing global reach, giving it a presence in China, Japan and Croatia. As a combined firm, the new organization will be the eighth-largest CRO worldwide.
 
In a prepared press kit regarding the deal, Chiltern noted that “In response to the needs of Chiltern’s clients for a strong mid-tier clinical research provider, Chiltern is expanding its global reach, scientific expertise and specialty experience to improve its ability to manage increasingly complex trials with a personalized approach, designed in partnership with clients.”
 
The addition of Theorem expands Chiltern’s service offerings in a variety of areas, including endocrinology, central nervous system, women’s health and general medicine within the biopharmaceutical field—it also adds the new categories of medical device, diagnostic and combination trial offerings. Theorem’s specialties include CRO services in the areas of clinical development, clinical analytics, strategic regulatory and strategic outsourcing.
 
This is the third CRO acquisition for Chiltern in the past year. In July 2014, the company announced that it had acquired 100 percent of Ockham, a Cary, N.C.-based CRO, and would be merging the companies’ operations, with Ockham’s management team to join the leadership of the combined company. The transaction bolstered Chiltern’s offerings in oncology specialization, biopharmaceutical services and global functional service provider/sourcing provision. A few months later, Chiltern shared news in September that it had acquired Singapore-based Pacific Clinical Research. This deal strengthened Chiltern’s oncology and anti-infective offerings, and expanded the company’s reach with direct capabilities in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. No financial details were released for either transaction.

Kelsey Kaustinen

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