SALT LAKE CITY — CenExel Clinical Research, Inc. (“CenExel”) completed the acquisition of Apex Innovative Sciences (“Apex”), parent company of Collaborative Neuroscience Research (“CNS”) and Hassman Research Institute (“HRI”), which will be renamed as “CenExel CNS” and “CenExel HRI”, respectively. Bison Capital, a growth-oriented private equity group, completed a minority investment in Apex in 2019. FocalPoint Partners (“FocalPoint”) served as exclusive financial advisor to Apex on its initial capital raise and on the company’s sale to CenExel.
CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI consist of five prominent clinical research sites across California and New Jersey with significant expertise in early phase complex clinical trials and particular emphasis on central nervous system (CNS) indications. CenExel CNS will continue to be led by Dr. David Walling, while CenExel HRI will continue under the direction of Dr. Howard Hassman. Both leaders have decades of experience conducting Phase I-IV studies across a variety of CNS medical specialties. The primary therapeutic areas served by these five Centers include Complex Early Phase normal healthy volunteer (NHV) and patient studies, Psychiatry, Addiction (including human abuse liability/human abuse potential), Neurology, Pain, Ethnic Bridging, and General Medicine (particularly vaccine, endocrine, and infectious diseases).
CenExel now comprises 19 of the most proficient, therapeutically-focused, wholly-owned clinical research sites in the country, with special emphases on Psychiatry, Neurology, Pain, Human Abuse Liability, Vaccines/Immunology, Dermatology, Ethnic Bridging, Sleep, and Clinical Pharmacology/Phase I. On a combined basis, CenExel’s clinical research units have more than 500 inpatient beds with the ability to perform both simple and highly complex early phase trials. Each of the CenExel Centers of Excellence units has an outstanding track record of assisting pharmaceutical sponsors with protocol development, study design, and conduct in Phase I-IV trials to develop new therapeutics for improved patient care. Through the acquisition of Apex Innovative Sciences, Dr. Larry Ereshefsky also joins CenExel and brings tremendous scientific affairs consulting expertise.
CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI will benefit from the CenExel site network’s fully integrated and collaborative processes, which include centralized budgeting, business development, contracting, standard operating procedures, rater training, and quality management, among other functions.
“The addition of CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI establishes the foremost therapeutically-focused clinical research site network in the neurosciences,” said Tom Wardle, CenExel CEO. “These teams have always delivered scientific expertise and operational excellence. We’re excited to work with such exceptional leaders in the CNS research community.”
We are very pleased to be joining the CenExel site network,” said Dr. Howard Hassman. “CenExel’s depth of experience and market-leading scale provides a tremendous platform for growth. We look forward to combining our extensive resources to provide unparalleled efficiency and clinical expertise as we build the industry’s highest quality and most dependable partner for complex early-stage clinical research services.”
“CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI, in combination with the rest of CenExel’s sites, now offer the foremost scientific proficiency, clinical content expertise, and operational capability in the industry,” said Dr. David Walling. “We recognize the value of coordinating with our customers to assist in the development and execution of protocols by deploying best practices in clinical research, especially pertaining to clinical quality, compliance, and patient engagement.”
“The founders and management team at Apex have been tremendous partners. We are excited about this milestone and the opportunity ahead for Apex as the company expands on its expertise and differentiation within complex early phase clinical trials. FocalPoint has been an instrumental partner to Apex since its formation and through this event,” said Lou Caballero, Partner at Bison Capital Asset Management.
“Our involvement during Apex’s formation in 2019 amplifies the significance of this transaction,” said James Castro, Managing Director and Co-lead of FocalPoint’s Healthcare Group. “As the outsourced pharmaceutical sector continues to consolidate while integrating strategic capabilities, CenExel is poised to offer unparalleled support to the pharmaceutical community.”
About Apex Innovative Sciences
Apex Innovative Sciences, Inc. is a global provider of clinical development and site services. Apex represents the consolidation of core businesses including Hassman Research Institute, CNS Network and Clinical Trial Centers Alliance. The expanded team collaborates to provide quality, efficiency, and value in the development of innovative medicines. Apex helps sponsors achieve go/no-go decisions, reduce development costs, and deliver high quality results. Apex is committed to providing scientific, technological, and organizational expertise in Phase I-IV clinical trials, including Neurology, Psychiatry, Addiction, Asian Bridging, Pain, Healthy Subjects and General Medicine. The company prides itself on delivering the highest scientific and clinical quality for its client partners and participants.
About CenExel Clinical Research
CenExel provides unparalleled medical and scientific support in the design and execution of clinical trials. Its therapeutic area focus, attention to detail, and auxiliary services assure quality, reliable results and help CenExel consistently achieve and exceed patient recruitment goals. CenExel Centers of Excellence have conducted thousands of studies, the variety and complexity of which have resulted in a vast depth of experience and insight for the Principal Investigators and research staff in each facility. The CenExel Centers of Excellence deliver the engagement, expertise, and results to ensure that clients achieve their clinical research goals. For more information, visit: https://cenexcelresearch.com.
About Bison Capital
Bison Capital is a Los Angeles and New York based private equity firm founded in 2001. The firm’s primary investment focus is partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams seeking capital to grow their businesses. For more information, visit: www.bisoncapital.com.
About FocalPoint Partners
FocalPoint, a B. Riley Financial Company (NASDAQ: RILY), specializes in mergers and acquisitions, private placements (debt and equity), and financial restructurings. Leveraging its national footprint, FocalPoint’s Healthcare Investment Banking Group provides strategic investment banking services to healthcare providers across the continuum of care including acute care (i.e., hospitals and health systems), behavioral health, outsourced pharmaceutical services, and physician practice management (e.g., ENT, orthopedic care, women’s health, urology, neurology, pain management). To learn more, visit focalpointllc.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.