Comprised of two businesses that specialize in outsourced clinical services, CCBR-SYNARC expands Water Street’s global presence in the pharmaceutical services sector. It also marks the health care firm’s first investment from its new fund, Water Street Healthcare Partners III, L.P., which it closed last year after receiving $750 million of investor commitments in less than eight weeks.
CCBR-SYNARC is a highly specialized provider of clinical services to the world’s largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The company’s SYNARC business, based in Newark, Calif., specializes in imaging services, consultation and analysis to track progress throughout a clinical trial’s life cycle. Its CCBR business, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, recruits patients from all over the world, and conducts and manages clinical trials in its dedicated clinical centers. Together, the businesses employ more than 500 doctors, nurses and technicians who are located in 29 research centers across Asia, Europe and The Americas. They currently focus their expertise in the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and neurological therapies.
“Water Street’s team has consistently demonstrated to us a deep understanding of our businesses since it first approached us about potential ways to work together several years ago,” said Dr. Claus Christiansen, founder and chairman, CCBR-SYNARC. “When we reached a point in our development in which we were ready to expand our capabilities and services, we knew Water Street was our ideal partner. Its experience in the pharmaceutical sector, business development expertise and extensive industry relationships will provide our businesses with the intellectual capital and resources to achieve long-term growth and success.
The outsourced clinical development market is projected to grow as much as 5 to 10 percent per year over the next five years. With new regulations and global protocols leading to more complex drug development processes, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to specialized providers such as CCBR-SYNARC to support them with particular aspects of their clinical trials. CCBR’s ability to recruit large patient populations from diverse markets and SYNARC’s high quality imaging capabilities have fueled the company’s growth since its founding in 1998.
“Recruiting patients to participate in clinical trials can be a significant pain point for pharmaceutical companies and can cause costly delays in their drug development processes,” said Al Heller, an operating partner with Water Street who has more than 30 years of pharmaceutical experience. “CCBR-SYNARC stands out for its proven ability to both quickly recruit patients from targeted geographies and efficiently analyze images to support customers while increasing their clinical trial success rates.”
CCBR-SYNARC expands Water Street’s group of companies specializing in health care products and services to 12. The firm is also an investor in AAIPharma Services Corp., a provider of pharmaceutical product development services. It sold its oral health pharmaceutical company, OraPharma, to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. last year. Since its founding in 2005, Water Street has completed 39 transactions to create and grow a diverse group of market-leading health care companies.
“We are pleased to build Water Street’s presence in the pharmaceutical sector with our investment in CCBR-SYNARC. The company is highly regarded as a partner that delivers results through its unique combination of scientific acumen, local market knowledge and proprietary technology,” said Peter Strothman, partner, Water Street. “We look forward to working closely with Dr. Christiansen to strategically expand both businesses’ unique capabilities.”
Water Street has activated its newest fund, Fund III, with its investment in CCBR-SYNARC. The firm is seeking new opportunities to partner with corporations interested in divesting non-core health care businesses, and middle-market companies wanting to accelerate growth. Water Street targets investments ranging from $50 to $500 million in four health care sectors: distribution, medical products, health care services, and pharmaceutical products and services.