Investcorp acquires Sanos Group, a leading specialized Contract Research Organization (CRO)

Investcorp, a leading global provider and manager of alternative investment products, today announced that it has acquired Sanos Group (“Sanos”), a leading provider of specialized clinical trial services to the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.


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Based in Denmark, Sanos is a global Contract Research Organization (“CRO”) providing value-added services to pharma, biotech and research organizations to help plan and conduct clinical trials, a critical part in the development of new drugs and treatments. Sanos Group consists of a CRO specialized in osteoarthritis (“OA”) and a Site Management Organization (“SMO”) with a broader indication range focusing on lifestyle and age-related diseases. Sanos has built a worldwide reputation for its scientific expertise, ability to recruit patients and track record of executing safe and efficient clinical trials.

The global CRO market is estimated to be approximately US $50 billion and is growing at approximately 10% per annum, driven by increasing R&D spend to develop new drugs and treatments as well as a trend by pharma and biotech companies to outsource the clinical trials for new drugs to CROs. Sanos’ scientific leadership in OA, a highly prevalent disease that currently affects more than 240 million people worldwide, together with its strong network of key opinion leaders and its integrated value chain with three owned research clinics in Denmark, makes it a preferred strategic partner for OA clinical trials. Investcorp plans to support Sanos’ efforts to capitalize on its multiple market opportunities by further increasing its penetration in OA while looking to grow into clinical trials for other therapeutic areas and expanding its research clinics network into new geographies.

Daniel Lopez-Cruz, Head of Private Equity, Europe at Investcorp, said; “Sanos has all the key attributes that we look for in potential investments. It is an entrepreneurial organization with a clearly differentiated value proposition as well as a leading market position in a growing, resilient and mission-critical industry. Sanos has established itself as the partner of choice for pharma and biotech companies looking to conduct clinical trials for osteoarthritis, a condition for which there is currently a very high unmet medical need given the large and growing population of people being affected by it and the fact that there is no cure for it at the moment. Leveraging its strong OA franchise, we believe that Sanos has significant potential for international expansion through new research clinics in the US -the largest market for clinical trials- and other European countries beyond Denmark. We look forward to partnering with Sanos’ experienced management team to realize the opportunities ahead.”

Yusef Al Yusef: Managing Partner for Investcorp’s Private Wealth said, “The CRO market will continue to be propelled by growth in outsourcing, the need to shorten time-to-market for new drugs and increased complexity of clinical trials. Its highly fragmented small, local, and regulation-driven markets also offer numerous opportunities for consolidation and we see attractive opportunities for Sanos to expand its capabilities outside of osteoarthritis. We look forward to supporting the company on this journey.”

Investcorp has an established history of investing in the healthcare sector globally. The acquisition of Sanos is Investcorp’s 11th investment in the healthcare sector and the third in Europe, following its acquisition of a majority stake in Cambio Healthcare Systems, which operates in the Electronic Health Records market, and Acura, a network dedicated to providing accessible and high quality dental care across Germany.


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