GHO Capital acquires Velocity Clinical Research, signalling evolution of clinical trial site industry
08 April 2021
London, UK – Global Healthcare Opportunities, or GHO Capital Partners LLP (GHO), the European specialist investor in healthcare, announces the acquisition of Velocity Clinical Research, from NaviMed Capital (“NaviMed”) and other investors, signalling how the business of running clinical trial sites is changing.
Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, Velocity operates 16 fully-owned sites across 11 US states. The company serves biopharmaceutical and contract research organisation (CRO) clients in primarily conducting phase II and phase III clinical trials in support of their global drug development programs. In just three years, Velocity has worked with over 200 biopharmaceutical clients, including all of the top 10 pharma sponsors, and its sites have collectively conducted over 5,000 clinical trials.
All of Velocity’s sites are fully integrated via a centralised infrastructure and common technology backbone, allowing for superior patient enrollment and consistent, high quality data delivery. The acquisition of Velocity signals the next stage of the rapidly changing clinical trial site landscape, which has traditionally been highly fragmented, despite attracting nearly $15 billion in annual investigator fees expended by the biopharmaceutical industry.
The industry demonstrated last year that by speeding up the rate of patient recruitment, sponsors can get drugs and vaccines to market quicker than previously accepted. This was at unprecedented speed in the case of COVID-19 where the industry collectively recruited 30,000 US-based volunteers per study across multiple studies in just 4-6 weeks, which normally would have taken 6 to 12 months.
Dr G. Paul Evans, Chief Executive and President of Velocity Clinical Research, said, “Today’s announcement signals the future for the clinical trials industry. Velocity’s model was put to the test last year during the race to find a COVID vaccine, demonstrating that our integrated approach to running clinical sites is head and shoulders above others. We have been more agile and quicker to adapt in response to the needs of both CROs and patients.
NaviMed has been a great partner for us, working with us on the direction for the company while giving our senior management team the freedom to execute on strategic decisions. The business of owning clinical trial sites is changing and it’s difficult for other companies to scale in this space. Our experienced team knows how to run sites and we feel that GHO is the right partner to back Velocity, as we move into our next phase of growth thanks to their experience in pharmaceutical services.”
Velocity, incorporated in December of 2017, has grown to its current scale by acquiring smaller, regional US-based sites. With the backing of GHO, Velocity will continue to operate in the highly fragmented US market, acquiring more sites and working, where possible, with hospitals and established healthcare facilities. It will explore the possibility of expanding its integrated site model internationally and increase investment in technology to further develop its decentralised trial offering.
The Partners at GHO Capital, said, “We are impressed with what Paul and the team have achieved in just a few years. It is clear from the extent to which they were involved in the coronavirus vaccine trials that they know how to run sites and adapt when needed.
Several of the Partners at GHO have experience of working with Paul and senior members of his team through shared experience at IQVIA, so we started this process with confidence in one another. We believe GHO, with its exclusive focus on healthcare, is uniquely positioned to help Velocity take advantage of the opportunities now available to them, which will accelerate their growth.”
GHO acquired Velocity from NaviMed Capital for an undisclosed amount. The sale will close in Q2 2021, subject to regulatory approval.
Dr Bijan Salehizadeh, Managing Director and Co-Founder of NaviMed said, “Velocity was one of the early companies in our inaugural fund. With NaviMed’s backing and driven by a world-class management team, we are delighted to see how quickly Velocity’s business has grown to serve clients and patients across the US.”
Harris Williams acted as exclusive financial advisor and Bass, Berry & Sims acted as legal advisor to Velocity Clinical Research. Ropes & Gray LLP provided legal advice to GHO, Health Advances provided commercial advice, Deloitte LLP provided financial and tax advice, Hays Companies and Atlantic Global Risk LLC provided insurance advice.
Notes to editors
- Velocity Clinical Research owns 16 sites across 11 US states, adding 5-7 sites each year. A full list can be found on its website.
- Velocity was the only multi-site company in the US to conduct trials for all pharmaceutical companies included in Operation Warp Speed plus Pfizer. Since July 2020, it has recruited over 10,000 volunteers to coronavirus studies in the US.
- Velocity has extensive experience in vaccines, general medicine, neurology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, and women’s health.
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GHO Capital Partners LLP
T +44 20 3700 7440
About GHO Capital
Global Healthcare Opportunities, or GHO Capital Partners LLP, is a leading specialist healthcare investment advisor based in London. We apply global capabilities and perspectives to unlock high growth healthcare opportunities in Europe, building market leading businesses of strategic global value. Our proven investment track record reflects the unrivalled depth of our industry expertise and network. We partner with strong management teams to unlock value in a global system that demands the delivery of better, faster, more accessible healthcare . For further information, please visit www.ghocapital.com.
About Velocity Clinical Research
Velocity Clinical Research, headquartered in Durham, N.C, is a leading integrated site organisation for clinical trials, offering dedicated site capabilities to help biopharmaceutical and contract research organisation customers find the right patients for their studies. The company has 16 sites across the United States.
We place the care of the patient at the heart of everything they do. With a combined experience of 250 years running sites and more than 5,000 studies completed, Velocity has refined its patient recruitment strategies while maintaining a focus on delivering timely and reliable data quality. For further information, please visit www.velocityclinical.com.