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Syneos Health (SYNH) Buys Illingworth Research, Expands CRO Base

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Syneos Health (SYNH - Free Report) recently acquired clinical research home health services company Illingworth Research Group that offers complimentary patient-focused contract research organization (CRO) services. The acquisition is expected to add scale and capabilities to Syneos Health’s existing decentralized clinical trial solutions.

Post acquisition, Illingworth Research Group will maintain its brand, operating as a separate Syneos Health business arm. Financial terms of the deal have been kept under wraps.

A Peek into Illingworth Research

The company offers trained, qualified and experienced home and on-site research nursing services to the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. It works on providing complimentary patient-focused CRO services. At present, it has network in more than 46 countries. Its services also include mobile-research nurse services that eliminate wasted travel time and are suitable for patients seeking stay-at-home options amid the pandemic. This also helps reduce patient and site burden.


Illingworth Research has experience in a range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, respiratory, rare disease and pediatrics. It also has know-how about Phase I–IV studies.

How Strategic is the Deal?

Amid the COVID-19-led changing health-support situation, where health care is becoming more local, there has been a growing demand for in-home clinical trial services. The nature of Illingworth Research’s business seems to be perfectly aligned with this transforming demand situation.

Syneos Health also noted that it is currently working on bringing greater flexibility to each customer study, based on data, people, process and technology. In this regard, it is tapping its Dynamic Assembly network to deliver fit-for-purpose solutions to strategically address the unique customer engagements. With the help of the patient-focused solutions of Illingworth Research, Syneos Health will be able to provide a site- and patient-focused approach, where the sponsors will be allowed to realize efficiencies in patient recruitment, engagement, improved access and patient diversity.

Syneos Health's CRO Market Prospects

The CRO market is seeing a trend of outsourcing of Phase I to Phase IV clinical trials by biopharmaceutical companies. This practice is more common in complex and high-growth therapeutic areas, such as oncology. Moreover, small- to mid-sized biopharmaceutical companies with limited infrastructure and emerging biotechnology companies are more likely to outsource their clinical development to CROs. Thus, on increased funding, these companies open up high-growth opportunities in the CRO market.

According to the company, $43 billion, out of around $88 billion of the total addressable clinical development market, was outsourced to CROs in 2019. Based on industry sources and management estimates, Syneos Health projects the CRO market for Phase I to Phase IV clinical development activities to see a CAGR of 6-7% through 2021.

Share Price Performance

Syneos Health has outperformed the industryover the past year. The stock has gained 26.7% compared with the sector’s 21.3% rise.

Zacks Rank and Other Key Picks

Syneos Health currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Merit Medical Systems, Inc. (MMSI - Free Report) , Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN - Free Report) and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank of 2 at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Merit Medical has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 12.6%.

Align Technology has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 18.3%.

Thermo Fisher has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 18%.

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