MANCHESTER, U.K.—Site management organization (SMO) Synexus recently announced its acquisition of Research Across America (RAA) for an undisclosed amount. Specific terms for the transaction were not released, but moving forward, RAA will operate under the Synexus name. Kelly Walker, chief organization officer, will continue to lead existing RAA operations, with Corrie Palm continuing as vice president of business development, the company noted on its website.
Synexus recruits for and runs clinical trials for pharmaceutical, biotech and contract research organization (CRO) clients, with a global network of research sites, with a focus on cardiovascular, metabolic (diabetes and obesity), musculoskeletal, respiratory and central nervous system (dementia and pain) trials mainly in Phase 3. The company has 25 dedicated research sites across 10 countries, and noted in a press release announcing the deal that with the addition of multiple new U.S. sites, it can now offer its customers access to more than 79 million potential patients.
The company notes that its dedicated site model of patient recruitment, trial conduct and patient retention helps improve the speed and efficiency of clinical trials on behalf of its pharma, biotech and CRO customers, while its dedicated sites benefit from best-in-class quality SOPs, access to scientific advisory boards for key therapeutic areas and a wide network of key opinion leaders. The company states that its tailored enrollment and retention strategies offer a way to address a key challenge in clinical trials, where almost 90 percent of all trials undertaken are delayed due to slow patient enrollment.
“Synexus already has a strong international footprint. This latest acquisition is an important one for Synexus, as it marks our entry into the U.S. market, giving us truly global capability,” Christophe Berthoux, CEO of Synexus, commented in a press release. “We spent a great deal of time considering an appropriate partner and selected Research Across America, as it has a number of synergies with the Synexus model. In addition, by adding these sites to our network, we have also gained expertise in areas such as dermatology and generics, enabling us to further support our client base.”
RAA, established in 1989, has conducted more than 2,000 clinical trials at its various dedicated research sites. Unlike Synexus, it is not an SMO, but an independent site alliance; as RAA explains on its website, its sites “are under one corporate umbrella for benefits purposes, but they have the flexibility of negotiating their own contracts and budgets and have their own coordinators and site managers.” The organization has worked with pharmaceutical companies and CROs in a variety of therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases, vaccines, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, allergy/asthma, pain management and cardiology (cholesterol/hypertension), among others.
RAA places significant weight on the importance of community outreach for patient recruitment, with a full-time, in-house patient recruitment department. RAA notes that “a strong emphasis on communication and the importance of the relationship between site staff and study volunteers is of primary importance. Personalization of the process of clinical research is emphasized.” The efforts seem to be effective, as RAA claims a 97-percent retention rate among its study participants. In addition, RAA's Texas facility also boasts a mobile unit that enables it to “take appropriate trials directly to the people,” which it notes it has used to recruit for several trials at college campuses.
“With IRB consultation and study-specific sponsor approval, we have launched a new direct-to-consumer engagement model. The vision we hold is that the future of clinical trials will include many new methods of delivery that will be cost-effective, while taking trials to populations that may otherwise not have access to study participation,” RAA explains on its website.