Cary-based CRO Ockham is acquired

07/15/2014 6:30 PM

07/15/2014 6:32 PM

Ockham, a 500-employee contract research organization headquartered in Cary, has been acquired for an undisclosed price by Chiltern, a large London-based company in the same industry.

In announcing the deal Tuesday, the two companies said Chiltern’s absorption of Ockham will strengthen its service offerings, especially with regard to clinical trials of cancer drugs and providing contract workers to life science companies.

Contract research organizations help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies conduct extensive tests on experimental medicines that government regulators require before they will consider approving a drug.

Ockham has about 150 workers in North Carolina. Prior to acquiring Ockham, Chiltern boasted 2,100 employees in more than 40 countries, including an office in Wilmington.

Chiltern CEO James Esinhart said in a prepared statement that the acquisition was “a natural progression towards our strategic goal of becoming the premier specialized mid-tier CRO.” He added that he was “extremely impressed by the skill and professionalism of Ockham’s employees, the quality services they deliver and the vision of the leadership team.”

Ockham’s management team will join Chiltern. Ockham’s CEO, James V. Baker, will become chief development officer.

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