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Leading Australian CRO acquired by investment firm

Health Industry Hub | December 12, 2022 |

Specialising in chronic disease research and affiliated with the University of Sydney, George Clinical – part of The George Institute for Global Health – was set up as a separate contract research organisation and commercialisation arm in 2008.

The George Institute for Global Health entered an agreement with global investment firm, Hillhouse, for the purchase of George Clinical for $200 million, its spin-out clinical research organisation (CRO).

Hillhouse has extensive experience in the health sector, having partnered, supported and grown healthcare businesses worldwide. The transaction will provide George Clinical with major new investment to support its continued path of rapid global expansion and its leadership position in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This is a momentous occasion for us. Our capacity to improve the health of disadvantaged communities worldwide will be turbocharged, and so will the potential for George Clinical to become one the world’s leading clinical research businesses, which was always our ambition,” said Professor Stephen MacMahon, co-Principal Director of The George Institute and Founder of George Clinical.

Since 2008, George Clinical has expanded its operations across Asia, Europe and North America, and now offers a full spectrum of clinical trial services to biopharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies.

“The global CRO market is extremely buoyant, and we saw the time was right for us to pass George Clinical to a new owner capable of realising the company’s full potential while giving the Institute a unique opportunity to invest in its future. We are immensely proud of George Clinical’s work to improve care for patients with common serious conditions such as brain, heart and kidney diseases, which are also focuses for The George Institute,” David Armstrong, Chair of the Board of Directors of The George Institute said.

Professor Robyn Norton, co-Principal Director of The George Institute, stated “The sale will provide a significant injection of funding to boost our research programs, increase our impact, and cement our long-term viability and success on the global stage.

“We are extremely grateful to the George Clinical management team for making this possible. In doing so, they have directly contributed to the potential for the Institute to improve the health of millions of people living in disadvantaged communities across the globe.”

It is the fifth Australian biolabs business sold in the past 18 months. The others include Agilex Biolabs, sold to ASX-listed Healius; Avance Clinical, which went to private equity firm The Riverside Co; Nucleus Network, which was sold to Blackstone’s PE unit from Crescent Capital Partners; and Melbourne’s 360biolabs which was sold to BioAgilitix Labs in August 2021.

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