Two Clinical Trial Leaders, ERT & Bioclinica, agree to merge

Tom Paine

A pair of Philly-area leaders in conducting clinical trials, Princeton-based Bioclinica and Philadelphia-based ERT (eResearchTechnology), have agreed to merge.

The transaction will integrate Bioclinica’s expertise in imaging with ERT’s expertise in eCOA (electronic clinical outcome assessments), cardiac safety, respiratory and wearables.

“As our customers continue to transform their R&D operations, we must continuously deliver a breadth of innovative technology and services,” said Joe Eazor, President and CEO of ERT. “Our merger with Bioclinica will allow us to continue to reinvent end-point data collection by delivering higher-fidelity data and more integrated solutions to achieve our customers’ goals for higher effectiveness, greater efficiency, safer trials, and more patient-centric virtual solutions.”

ERT is actually acquiring Bioclinica, though terms were not disclosed.

ERT has 2700 employees per its LinkedIn profile and Bioclinica has 2600 employees, according to an announcement on its website.

European PE firms are the investors behind both companies.

ERT’s investors have been Astorg, Nordic Capital, Novo Holdings, and the company’s management team.

Bioclinica was acquired by Cinven in 2016. Cinven will now have a “significant” minority stake in the combined company.

Covid-19 has shaken up the clinical trials industry, by forcing changes in how trial candidates are identified and where trials are conducted, among other factors.

ERT was hit by a ransomware attack in late September that slowed work for a couple 0f weeks, according to a story in the New York Times.

Soon after, ERT said then- CEO and President Jim Corrigan was stepping down, replaced immediately by Eazor, most recently CEO of Conifer Health Solutions and previously leader of both Rackspace and Earthlink. Its not clear whether the management change was related to the rasonware attact.

Eazor will lead the newly combined companies. The merger should be completed in early 2021, the joint announcement said.