DURHAM – Velocity Clinical Research has bought two additional multi-site companies, VitaLink Research and the National Research Institute.

With the acquisitions, Velocity Clinical Research expands its number of sites by 11, to a total of 29, it said in a statement.

The company says the deals make the company “the largest fully integrated site management organization.”

“Velocity has moved into the next phase of its development,” said Dr. G. Paul Evans, president and CEO of Velocity Clinical Research.  Large investors are taking an interest in the sector, said Evans.  “When consolidators start buying up the consolidators, it signals a maturing market. The clinical trials site landscape is going to look very different a year from now.”

VitaLink Research is based in South Carolina, and operates six sites.  National Research Institute is based in California, and operates five facilities in the greater Los Angeles area.  Prior to acquisitions, the three companies independently enrolled more than 10% of the COVID vaccine volunteers in the United States, the company noted in its statement.

Evans noted that consolidation was an industry topic in the 1990s, though it is different now.  “The focus now is on site integration rather than affiliation, allowing for greater control and leading to more efficient data collection and delivery,” said Evans. “Our goal is to offer big pharma companies access to a range of integrated sites that have a range of therapeutic capabilities through one single contact point, making site selection easier.”

Durham clinical research firm acquires 2 more sites under new ownership

That strategy, said Evans, can change how companies approach drug development.  “The reason why we believe more capital is flowing into the sector now,” added Evans.

The company did not disclose financial terms of the transaction.  Steve Clemons, CEO of VitaLink, will become Velocity’s senior vice president of client delivery, and Samira Moran, CEO of NRI, will become Velocity’s senior vice president of specialist care delivery, the company stated.

Velocity was founded in 2017.  Evans joined the company the following year.

In 2019, the company raised $20 million and acquired its first three research sites.  Later that year, the company doubled, acquiring two companies.  The company made additional acquisitions in 2020, growing again.

In 2021, the firm acquired two companies in March, was itself acquired by GHO Capital, and acquired two more companies in July.  Recently, the company hired three executives with the stated purpose of expanding into Europe.

According to its website, the company is hiring 11 roles in Durham, and 53 in the United States.