Velocity Clinical Research buys site in Germany, marking European expansion

Europe is the key to clinical trial recruitment success, says site organization Velocity Clinical Research, which has acquired a clinical research location in Hamburg, Germany.

The deal will see Clinical Research Hamburg, a provider of phase 2 through 4 research services in therapeutic areas including pain management, allergology, smoking cessation and hypertension, become part of Velocity. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The takeover will be the first of a series of deals across the U.K. and Germany, Durham, North Carolina-headquartered Velocity said. The planned acquisitions, which Velocity has not detailed publicly, reflect the role Europe plays in global pharmaceutical development, says Dominic Clavell, executive vice president of European operations at Velocity.

“The U.S. pharma sales market may be twice the size of Europe’s but the latter contributes a similar percentage of patients to global trials each year,” Clavell said. “For any clinical trials business, developing an EU presence is paramount to its success.”

He also said the deal is a testament to Velocity’s ability to negotiate site purchases outside North America, claiming that this is the first time a U.S. sites business has “scaled to expand into Europe.” U.S.-based companies previously have had a tough time navigating the complex regulatory environment in the EU, Clavell noted. 

The Hamburg facility is the 32nd site in Velocity’s network. The firm’s strategy is to develop sites that have a centralized infrastructure and common technology backbone on the basis that it will allow for superior patient enrollment and consistent, high-quality data delivery.

Velocity also claims its approach allows the clinical research organizations and pharmaceutical companies it works with to benefit from simplified access to international clinical research. 

Last year, Velocity expanded into South Carolina and California through the acquisition of VitaLink Research and the National Research Institute, adding 11 clinical trial sites to its roster. Velocity itself was bought by London healthcare venture firm GHO Capital last year. 

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