→ As rumors of a potential buyout spread following a move to cut projected revenue, the big CRO Parexel is laying the groundwork for a major cut in staff. In a filing with the SEC on May 4, the Waltham, MA-based company outlined plans to slash up to 1,200 jobs at the global clinical trial operation — far more than the 400 job cuts that had been in the works. The Boston Business Journal reported that story first. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, reported earlier in the week that Parexel has begun working with investment bankers to beat the bushes for a potential buyer, continuing a decade-long consolidation in the CRO business.
→ In other CRO news, INC Research and inVentiV Health are merging in an all-stock transaction. The combined operation will be valued at $7.4 billion. The move creates a top 3 CRO with 22,000 employees spanning more than 60 countries, serving customers in more than 110 countries.
→ Germanys Grünenthal has joined the biopharma migration to the Cambridge/Boston hub. The company has set up a new group in the area looking for projects in pain, inflammation, orphan diseases, and devices/technologies. “We are thrilled to be a part of the Boston science hot spot. One of the most vibrant environments with a culture and track record of innovation,” said Gabriel Baertschi, CEO of Grünenthal. Adds a spokesperson: “Grunenthal’s hub is in the CIC in Kendall Square/Cambridge. It is now open and staffed, and the company is also in the process of hiring. It plans 3-4 scientists initially with the option/potential to grow quickly as the company builds out partnerships. The company already signed 10 partnerships/collaborations in the Greater Boston area.”
→ With a lead intranasal therapy for nasal polyposis now under review at the FDA, Yardley, PA-based OptiNose has raised $37 million in venture cash to lay the groundwork for a marketing campaign. Fidelity led the round with participation from Avista Capital Partners, Entrepreneurs Fund and other current investors.
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