A Rockville Maryland-based global, full-service clinical research organization (CRO) recently acquired a European-based CRO called Neox s.r.o., with over 150 employees involved in outsourcing clinical development for biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device firms. With primary locations in the U.S., Canada and Bangalore, India, this acquisition establishes a strong beachhead for Emmes in central and eastern Europe as Neox is based in Prague, Czech Republic. Neox maintains a direct presence in Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia as well as 11 other European countries and the UK. Emmes, a mid-sized CROS, now works to move upstream in a bid to compete against the larger tier-1 CROs such as IQVIA, Parexel and LabCorp.
CRO Market—Fragmented but Dominated by a Handful
CROs have boomed from a couple decades now with the transformation of drug development to more efficient and flexible models. CRO market size and predictions range but some popular estimates peg the number approaching $45 billion, today passing 50+ billion by 2025.
This market is both highly concentrated and fragmented. On the one hand, there are literally hundreds of CROs with all sorts of specialties and regional focuses. However, the great majority of the revenues generated by the industry are controlled by just a handful of players.
According to CRO association ARCO clinical research conducted by CROs grew by 40% from 2008 to 2014 and is expected to pass $45 billion by 2022. ACRO members, which don’t represent all CROs, employ over 130,000 across 114 countries representing a doubling of size since 2008. According to the industry association’s website it’s members conduct the great majority of clinical trials around the world involving nearly two million research participants.
Only two CROs generate revenues over $5 billion and that includes Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) ($11.5b) and IQVIA ($11b). Other major players with revenues over $1 billion in revenue include Syneos Health, PPD, PRA Health Sciences, ICON, Charles River Labs, Parexel, Wuxi Apptec and Medpace Holdings.
Emmes on the Rise
However, Emmes, which has been operating for decades, now lands significant business in Europe, reports founder and CEO Dr. Christine Dingivan. She was quoted, “This is an important and exciting step for Emmes, demonstrating significant progress on our strategic plans to grow our biopharmaceutical business.” With this “…well-established biopharmaceutical research services business…” Emmes now “…significantly expands our international presence.”
Contribution of Neox
With what is apparently a stellar reputation the company has significant business dealings in Europe, having completed over 1,000 clinical trials across multiple therapeutic areas. Founded by two brothers, Dr. Pavel Marek and Petr Marek, both will stay on board which is important for continuity during the merger and for the accelerated growth trajectory thereafter.
Why did Emmes make the move? Well, according to Dr. Dingivan, “Pavel and his team have built a CRO with an excellent reputation.” She continued, “Our companies share a dedication to science, long-term partnerships with clients, and a corporate culture that centers on integrity, agility and passion for excellence.”
Dr. Marek believes the two coming together represents “a powerful combination.”
Neox will be part of Emmes Biopharma, which also includes Emmes’ established, experienced teams in the USA, India and Canada. With this acquisition, Emmes crosses the 1,000 employee mark.
Founded in 1977, Emmes is a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization dedicated to excellence in supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation. The company’s clients include numerous agencies and institutes of the U.S. federal government and a wide range of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies throughout the world.