The merger of Simbec Research, the specialist CRO in Early Stage Clinical Development, and ORION Clinical Services, the specialist CRO in Late Stage Clinical Development, is tremendous news for the clinical research sector, the merged company and its employees and Wales.

The Simbec-Orion Group will be a full service international contract research organisation (CRO) with capabilities in both Early Stage Clinical Development and Late Stage Clinical Development with deep expertise in oncology and rare and orphan diseases.  The Group, with combined revenues of approximately £25m, employs approximately 250 staff and has operations across Europe, Australia and the United States together with capabilities in multiple other territories. Simbec-Orion will maintain its headquarters in the UK based in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.

Simbec-Orion will offer its current 65 large and mid-cap pharmaceutical and biotech clients a complete service offering from first in human exploratory clinical pharmacology studies, through Phase II and Phase III studies.  Currently the Group has approximately 90 clinical trials running for clients.  In addition, the Group offers its clients Phase IV post authorisation studies for marketing, observational and post authorisation safety studies (“PASS”).

The merger was completed through the provision of £12.5m of funds raised from the Welsh Arthurian Life Sciences Fund and HSBC Bank plc’s West and Wales Corporate team.

My investment management team at Arthurian Life Sciences first backed Simbec in 2013.  Together with HSBC Arthurian is delighted to be leading this transaction and look forward to supporting further acquisitions for the new combined Simbec-Orion Group. There is no shortage of targets which would be an excellent fit for what is a world-leading  CRO.

This is also a proud moment for Wales in that it will be retaining the worldwide HQ for the company and it shows what can be achieved in the life sciences sector. I will be delighted to serve as a non-executive director on the board of Simbec-Orion.

Professor Sir Chris Evans