Biotech specialist swoops for complementary acquisition

Dr Karen O’Hanlon and prof Alan Boyd
X The Business Desk

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Crewe pharmaceutical and biotech product development consultancy Boyds has enhanced its clinical and medical affairs services offering following the acquisition of Blue Duck Consulting, for an undisclosed sum.

Since 2013, Crewe-based Blue Duck has provided expert preclinical and clinical drug development strategies and specialist monitoring and project management of clinical operations services in a range of therapeutic areas, led by its founder Dr Karen O’Hanlon, who joins Boyds as director of clinical operations.

An experienced programme manager with 17 years’ experience in preclinical, clinical and analytical drug development, Karen has a strong track record of leading experienced project teams across all functions through her work with biotech, pharmaceutical and drug delivery companies.

Her career has spanned various project management roles, including project director at hVIVO, clinical and laboratory project manager and feasibility and programme manager at SRA Global Clinical Developments, and preclinical and clinical project manager at MediGene GmbH.

She has also provided expert preclinical and clinical drug development strategies, project management and monitoring services to biotech, pharmaceutical and drug delivery companies.

Prof Alan Boyd, founder and chief executive of Boyds, which has offices in Cambridge, Cheshire and Dublin, said: “Boyds has brought Karen’s clinical monitoring services under its regulatory and medical monitoring support services umbrella to strengthen its ability to identify and develop therapies that will benefit patients.

“Karen has proven and impressive experience in this specialist area, and Blue Duck is a highly-trusted organisation known for its personal, flexible approach and focus on building relationships, with Karen having oversight of every study and every client.

“She has led Blue Duck’s work in clinical study monitoring, stand-alone ethics submissions, feasibility studies, medical writing and training. Her knowledge in these fields perfectly complements Boyds’ services, across multiple therapeutic areas.”

He added: “In addition to the regulatory, medical monitoring and product development services already offered by Boyds, our clients will now also be able to seamlessly access clinical development services which include study set-up activities – from feasibility assessments and ethics submissions, to site contract negotiations – clinical study monitoring, and clinical study project management.

“We can support the full development cycle of a product and provide all of our clients with a complete range of product development support.”

Dr O’Hanlon said: “I have worked with Boyds as a consultant for several years and been impressed with the level of knowledge and expertise within the team. The opportunity to join forces with Boyds was one that I grabbed with both hands and I’m delighted to join the organisation.

“Boyds will continue to build on the monitoring provision that Blue Duck has already built up in the UK, Europe, USA, Mexico and Canada, and to oversee and manage clinical development programmes, providing both top level programme management and a study-specific project management service.

“Boyds will also work closely with regulatory and medical monitoring teams to continue building its study start-up services, which are in high demand from clients.”

She added: “All of Blue Duck’s clients have been incredibly supportive of my decision to join forces with Boyds, which is testament to the reputation of its incredible team. It’s a very exciting time for all of us.”

Prof Boyd said: “We are looking forward to maximising on our combined capabilities to work with clients undertaking interesting and valuable work. Boyds remains focused on providing the very best development services, alongside growing the global business.”

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