PRA Health Sciences reported two doses of good news on Monday: Its financials beat Wall Street expectations and the Raleigh-based company made a $530 million acquisition.

On the same day that PRA reported revenues and profits that topped analysts’ projections, the firm said it was acquiring privately held Symphony Health Solutions. Symphony Health is a provider of data, analytics and consulting services.

The PRA deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions and mergers by Triangle-based life science services/contract rsearch organizations which are part of a growing hub. QuintilesIMS, Burlington-based LabCorp and INC Research have all made deals designed to grow their reach, especially in data and analytics.

Thus the appeal of Symphony to PRA.

According to the two companies, Symphony’s Dataverse is “one of the largest commercial health data assets in the United States” with records on some 280 million lives.

PRA will pay cash for the Pennsylvania-based company at closing later this year.

The deal “supports PRA’s commitment to provide deep, data-driven insights to optimize global clinical studies and drug commercialization from concept to compound to cure,” PRA said.

“We are excited about this new relationship and look forward to helping Symphony Health continue to grow their existing business and working with them to expand geographically using PRA’s global footprint,” said Colin Shannon, PRA’s Chief Executive Officer, in a statement.

“Symphony Health will also provide us with rich data insights that will allow us to customize our clinical studies to be as unique as the patients who they are designed around. By creatively harnessing the power of our technology and data assets, we are redefining the clinical development process for a more patient-centric future.”

PRA operates in 80-plus countries.

Neal Bibeau will continue to serve as CEO of Symphony Health.

“This acquisition brings together two fast growing innovation leaders in their respective sectors,” Bibeau said in the announcement.

“PRA and Symphony Health share a passion for using data and analytics to expand the commercial potential of our customer pipelines and to ensure the success of their development and commercialization efforts. Together, we will provide customers with an expanded set of solutions across the product life cycle.”


In its quarterly financial report, PRA said earnings hit $29.5 million or 79 cents a share after adjustments. Wall Street had forecast 74 cents.

Revenues, meanwhile, came in at just under $58 million after adjustments. That beat the Street forecast by some $10 million.

PRA shares closed Monday at $74.08 and are up some 35 percent this year.