Clinical trials firm INC Research has landed an $11 million venture-funding round, money the company says will be used to expand into Europe and to enhance a data management platform it rolled out early this year.

California-based Crosspoint Venture Partners led the latest round, which included several other existing investors and brings the amount of venture capital the company has raised over the past four years to $34 million. INC officials declined to name the other investors, although SGI Capital and Enterprise Ventures have participated in earlier rounds.

Part of the money will finance INC’s move into Europe over the next year, spokeswoman Tricia VonderReith says. The company plans to open an office near London in August and is looking to have sites in Germany and France in 2003, she says.

“Many of our clients have a need for globally-based trials, and we want to be able to service that component of the industry, so we need to expand our base,” VonderReith says.

INC last month opened an office in outside Toronto to tap the Canadian market. It also has operations in San Diego; Austin, Texas; Charlottesville, Va.; and Bridgewater, N.J.

The company also plans to use the new venture money to build its DataSpectrum unit, she says. The operation was launched in January to integrate various methods for collecting data from clinical trials, from the Internet to faxes to paper tabulation, into one validated system so individual test sites can handle data in a way that best suits their needs. The DataSpectrum division offers a range of data services, including database design, analysis and reporting.

INC specializes in designing and running clinical trials, which includes crunching the numbers collected from them, for experimental cancer and nervous system drugs. VonderReith says that focus is what attracted the interest of investors in a generally tight funding climate.

“The specialized nature of our services differentiates us,” she says. “We have a depth of expertise in our area, and we don’t try to be all things to all people.”

Robert Hoff of Crosspoint Venture Partners said in a statement that INC “is in a solid position to transform the contract research services sector, as pharmaceutical and biotech companies look for more specialized, technologically advanced and customer-focused solutions.”

The company grew out of a neuroclinical research program at the University of Virginia in the 1980s. A decade ago, the program shifted its focus to provide planning, implementation and operational services to support pharmaceutical industry and government-funded neurology, psychiatry and pain clinical trials.

In 1998, INC was created when the program merged with Integrated Neuroscience Consortium, a site management organization that specialized in central nervous system studies. The company moved its headquarters to Raleigh in December 2000 after hiring Glenn Bilawsky, a former Quintiles Transnational executive, as its chief executive.