Finnish digital health company CRF Health, a global provider of eCOA and eConsent solutions for the life sciences industry, has been acquired from the European private equity firm Vitruvian Partners by Genstar Capital, a leading investor in healthcare technology and services companies.
The value of the acquisition has not been disclosed but Finnish business magazine Tekniikka&Talous estimates that the sum exceeds EUR 1 billion. As part of the transaction, CRF will be combined with Genstar's portfolio company Bracket, which provides software and technology-enabled solutions utilized in clinical trials.
Electronic Clinical Outcome Assessments (eCOA) utilise technology such as smartphones, tablets, and personal computers to enable patients, doctors and caregivers to directly report outcomes. According to CRF Health, it was among the first companies to put dedicated eCOA devices in the hands of patients, helping clinical trial sponsors bring new medicine to market quickly and cost-effectively.
Electronic Informed Consent (eConsent) also uses interactive technology to help patients make more informed decisions, improving the quality and efficiency of clinical trials. According to CRF Health, its TrialConsent solution simplifies informed consent for sponsors, site teams and ethics committees with an easy-to-use platform, and promotes participant compliance and retention through better comprehension.
"CRF Health earned an outstanding reputation with 20 years of experience providing eCOA and now eConsent solutions to the biopharma industry around the world," says Mike Nolte, CEO of the combined organization, in a statement.
"CRF's technology and therapeutic experience dovetail well with our solutions, and they expand our ability to support increasingly complex clinical research. I am excited to bring two outstanding teams together to provide a reliable and scalable platform that accelerates the development of life changing medicines for our families and communities across the globe."
Founded and headquartered in Finland, CRF Health has been majority-owned by Vitruvian Partners since 2015. According to Vitruvian Partners, CRF Health offers superior measurement of drugs' intended treatment benefits and has served about 400,000 patients in over 750 trials, operating across 75 countries in 6 continents and over 100 languages. The company has established a global customer base of pharmaceutical companies and CROs.
According to Genstar Capital, the new combined company will have over 1,500 employees worldwide, and will be in a position to accelerate the penetration of user-friendly technologies across the clinical trial spectrum – driving the transfer from manual, paper-based services to electronic services while improving service quality and data integrity.
"Finland is the second most advanced digital economy in the EU (DESI) and this also extends to healthcare," says Nora Kaarela, Head of Industry at Invest in Finland, Business Finland. "CRF is an excellent demonstration of why Finland is one of the best countries for nurturing health technology R&D. Originating from Finland, CRF is a truly global company that has benefited from keeping its R&D activities in Finland, which offers highly skilled talent and strong government support to boost innovations."
Head of Industry, Health & Wellbeing
nora.kaarela (at) businessfinland.fi
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