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Clinical Insider

PE investor hints at Astrum acquisitions in 2024

Posted by on 23 January 2024
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Clinical research organization (CRO) Astrum will look for “bolt-on” acquisitions in the EU according to private equity backer, Henko Partners.

The Spain-based firm made the comments in a 2023 review, explaining Astrum would be seeking to expand its offering to the drug industry and its revenue over the coming year as part of a wider growth plan.

Henko said “In terms of inorganic growth, we will continue to look for further European add-on acquisitions.”

The investor also said it expects Astrum to benefit from collaboration with other companies in which it has holdings.

The firm predicted “Astrum will show strong organic growth executing its backlog, and the company will start to draw on the commercial synergies between the sister companies.

Astrum was launched last year when Henko merged BlueClinical and Pharmalog with existing CRO portfolio companies BioClever and PopsiCube – MissionTEC.

At the time, the investor said the aim was to create a European CRO that offers clients access to cross-country services, in addition to continuing to serve national markets.

In a press statement Henko partner, Lars Becker, said “We are thrilled to launch Astrum and welcome the management teams of Pharmalog and BlueClinical.

“We are convinced that by bringing together Pharmalog and BlueClinical together with BioClever and Popsicube, we have an excellent platform to serve pharmaceutical and biotech clients in Europe.”

At present, Astrum has an extensive footprint in Western Europe, with a team of 300 plus employees across offices in Munich, Barcelona, Paris, Porto, Madrid, and Toulouse.

The CRO operates a hospital-based Phase I unit with 76 beds in Porto, Portugal at which it conducts a range of first-in-human studies for biopharmaceutical industry and biotech sector partners.

In October, it made a number of appointments to Astrum’s executive team, naming industry veterans Ethel Vissers and Carlos Faro as chief commercial officer and chief financial officer respectively.


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