How did we start?
In June 2006, Gordana Gregurić Čičak and Igor Čičak founded Optimapharm with a vision to be
among the most trusted CRO partners. Starting from a small office space in Zagreb, over the last 15
years we have grown into a full-service pan-European CRO with operations in 27 countries. Despite
the global COVID pandemic, 2020 brought us a partnership with The Rohatyn Group, thus opening a
next great chapter of the Company’s development. With highly experienced Management team at
the helm - Gordana as COO, Andrew Copestake as CEO and Walter Miller as CFO, we are excited
to break new ground and overcome upcoming challenges together!
None of this would have been possible without our clients and our #teamOptimapharm. We are lucky to have you!
On Birthdays, we all make wishes…
This story of reaching the heights of success can serve as an inspiration to us all – we are looking forward to many more years filled with stories to get inspired by. Take a look at how we celebrated our 15th birthday!
On 29 th December 2020, the Sisak-Moslavina County in Croatia was hit by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake which caused immense damages to buildings and structures in the cities of Sisak, Petrinja, and the surrounding areas. The ongoing subsequent earthquakes are further destabilising the area and hindering attempts to repair what has not already been reduced to rubble. One of the many affected structures is the General Hospital “Dr. Ivo Pedišić” in Sisak. The buildings in the hospital complex have suffered extensive damage, the Gynaecology ward being the only one that remained mostly unaffected, along with the ground floor of the Neurology/Paediatrics building, as well as Surgery and Dialysis wards. Most other structures are unsafe to use and need a complete overhaul.
The patients that were staying in the hospital up to the 29 th December have been relocated to hospitals
in Zagreb and the Neuropsychiatric hospital in Popovača. There are currently only 70 patients
admitted in the General Hospital Sisak. At its full capacity, the complex can take up to 500 patients.
Most infirmaries are currently working, although with some difficulty, given that a large number of medical equipment has been damaged or made irretrievable by the earthquake. Patients are redirected to Zagreb, Karlovac, Bjelovar and other cities for medical examinations.
Given our long-term collaboration on a variety of clinical studies, Optimapharm has decided to donate 100,000.00 HRK to the General Hospital in Sisak, to show our support to all hospital personnel and patients battling the current conditions. We are hopeful that this donation will help the hospital reach its full potential once again, and to be able to provide all the necessary medical services without any difficulties.
The Head of the Hospital, Mr. Tomislav Dujmenović, MD, states that the complete renovation of the complex is going to take years to complete, given sufficient funding. Additional help in acquiring medical devices and equipment that has been damaged in the earthquake will also be needed, which is why, in addition to the forementioned donation, Optimapharm employees are going to be collecting funds in order to purchase new EKG machines, as well as 100 volumetric infusion pumps for the Hospital.
“I would like to thank Optimapharm for this visit, on behalf of all the hospital staff. The donation as well as the support they provided means a great deal and helps us not feel so alone in these difficult times. Your support is greatly appreciated, not only by the Hospital, but by the entire County.” - Tomislav Dujmenović, MD
Optimapharm would like to take this opportunity to encourage all our Clients and Partners to join us in providing support to the General Hospital in Sisak, as well as the entire Sisak-Moslavina area, in whichever way they find appropriate. We believe that, through mutual efforts and collaboration, we can help make a difference and help make the lives of the people affected by these earthquakes at least somewhat easier.
Dr Charles Woler has over 35 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech industry in Europe and the United States. He was formerly Chairman and CEO of Roche France, President and CEO of Cadus Pharmaceutical in the United States (1995-1998), Chairman of Smithkline Beecham Europe and General Manager of Bouchara Group, before becoming CEO of the venture capital backed biotechs, Neuro3d and Endotis Pharma. As Executive GM at the Biomnis Group, Charles fronted M&A discussions during the 2015 acquisition of the company by Eurofins Scientific. More recently Charles has built a portfolio of non-executive assignments across different areas of the life sciences sector and played a pivotal role in the successful execution of exit strategies for several of these, including as Chair, the acquisition of full site CRO Synexus by PPD.
Dr Woler comments, “I am enthusiastic about joining Optimapharm’s Board, and have already begun working with Andrew Copestake, CEO and The Rohatyn Group on organic and external growth opportunities. Optimapharm’s forward-looking vision, agility and dynamism supporting development projects, the calibre of the company’s talent and their client dedication under current COVID circumstances are all highly impressive. Optimapharm has the potential to become the reference standard clinical CRO, and I am proud to be part of this journey. I have known Coulter Partners for many years and their close relationship with the Rohatyn Group and Optimapharm provided me comfort from the very outset of our discussions.”
Optimapharm d.o.o. (“Optimapharm” or “the Company”), a leading independent clinical research organization (CRO) in Europe, Optimapharm is delighted to welcome Walter Miller, our newly appointed Chief Finance Officer. With over 25 years of experience in the industry and a knack for growing companies, Walter will surely continue to build on the excellent work our Finance team has been doing in order to create a high performing, agile finance function, which will ensure a continuous delivery of optimal long-term commercial performance. We would hereby like to wish Walter a warm welcome to our ranks. We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration.
Optimapharm d.o.o. (“Optimapharm” or “the Company”), a leading independent clinical research organization (CRO) in Europe, is delighted to announce the acquisition of Syntax for Science S.L. (“Syntax for Science”), significantly strengthening its presence in the key European markets of Spain and Portugal, and expanding its service profile to offer full service, in-house capabilities for our biopharmaceutical clients worldwide.
Founded in 2006 in Zagreb, Croatia, Optimapharm manages clinical trials across Europe, operating through offices in 14 European countries. Optimapharm provides tailored solutions and offers unrivalled access to patients, covering markets with a total population of over 500 million people. Optimapharm conducts phase I – IV clinical research across Europe, with a particularly strong footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. The acquisition of Syntax for Science will complement Optimapharm’s services offering and complement its reputation for premium professional services and competitive costs at the highest industry standards, which have helped the Company achieve repeat business rate of over 95%.
Syntax for Science is one of the top 5 Spanish Full-Service CROs, with clinical operations in Spain and Portugal. It was founded in 2012 as a niche CRO specialized in data management and statistics. With a strong scientific background, Syntax for Science rapidly became a trusted services provider within the Spanish biopharmaceutical industry. In 2016, Syntax for Science merged with Alclinical and became a Full-Service CRO incorporating clinical operations and safety vigilance within its existing services.
By acquiring Syntax for Science, Optimapharm continues its path to becoming one of the leading mid-size CRO companies in Europe. The combined organisation will offer a broader range of services and geographies to our clients. Moving forward, Optimapharm will continue to pursue a growth strategy to capitalise on the expanding clinical research market through the combination of organic growth and targeted investments into complementary organisations. Optimapharm is committed to identifying and realize market opportunities to best support our clients, employees, and grow as an organization.
“We are delighted to be combining forces with Syntax for Science. By expanding our capabilities and our geographic footprint, we are proactively transforming our service profile for the immediate benefit of our loyal clients. The two organisations are highly complementary in terms of service profile but also share a philosophy of providing best-in-class, flexible and tailored solutions for our clients.” said Dr. Andrew Copestake, CEO of Optimapharm.
Optimapharm has successfully acquired and integrated several acquisitions across Europe in recent years. The acquisition of Syntax for Science represents the first such acquisition since securing a significant investment in May 2020 from The Rohatyn Group (“TRG”), an emerging markets focused asset management firm. It demonstrates the shareholders’ commitment to continue accelerating the Company’s development along a path begun by the Company’s founders, Gordana Gregurić Čičak and Igor Čičak.
Juan Vicente Torres, CEO of Syntax for Science added, “Syntax for Science, will contribute its high-quality standards and strong technical foundation, to perfectly complement Optimapharm's existing breadth of services. Our entire team is profoundly excited to join Optimapharm and contribute as a key asset to support the Company's future growth.”
Founded in 2006 in Croatia, Optimapharm is a leading, full-service, contract research organization (“CRO”) managing clinical trials on behalf of the global biopharmaceutical and medical device companies. Optimapharm’s key differentiators are its track record of delivery excellence, committed and stable project teams, unrivalled access to patients in the emerging markets of Eastern and South Eastern Europe, with strong presence throughout Europe, and a customer-focused approach that has led to over 95% repeat business. These differentiators enable Optimapharm to offer a highly cost-effective clinical development solution; We Deliver on Your Promises. Visit us at www.optimapharm.eu.
About Syntax for Science
Founded in Spain with an international vocation, Syntax for Science combines its international know-how with the flexible and tailored services of a local enterprise. Our mission is to provide the best solutions adapted to the unique and specific needs of small-medium biotechnology companies, which is only possible with a pioneering mindset and the best team. For more information, visit www.syntaxforscience.com.
Optimapharm is pleased to announce that Dr. Andrew Copestake has been appointed Chief
Executive Officer, effective 20 th July 2020. Andrew joins Optimapharm’s executive management
team following several months advising the company’s Board of Directors.
Andrew brings almost 30 years industry experience, having worked in large multinational pharmaceutical companies, global and regional contract research organizations, the biotech sector, as well as other service providers. He also brings a global approach, having gained international experience during appointments in the USA, Japan and throughout Europe. Andrew holds a PhD in Respiratory & Exercise Physiology from Loughborough University, UK and a Bachelor Degree (Hons) in Applied Biology from East London University, UK. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Andrew’s appointment comes at an important inflexion point for Optimapharm. Following The Rohatyn Group’s investment in Optimapharm, announced in May 2020, Optimapharm is rapidly expanding the scale and breadth of its services to continue to build on its reputation for delivery excellence and a client-focused approach throughout Europe. Andrew will add a layer of seasoned leadership and experience running global full-service companies and is immediately focused on further developing Optimapharm’s service offering to capitalise on the current market opportunity in Europe.
In his new role, Andrew will work very closely with Dr. Gordana Greguric Cicak, Optimapharm’s founder, who will continue to lead Optimapharm’s operations as Chief Operating Officer. Gordana will maintain day-to-day responsibility for Optimapharm’s Clinical Operations, Clinical Project Management and Regulatory & Safety teams, ensuring industry-leading project delivery, quality outcomes whilst consistently exceeding client expectations.
With Andrew and Gordana at the helm, Optimapharm is uniquely placed to expand its customer base and operational capabilities, in-line with our vision to accelerate our development into the first- choice European CRO.
OPTIMAPHARM is proud to announce that our very own Goran Vesov and Ana Stojkovic (with much help from Mirjana Mamuza) have recorded a podcast on the highly topical subject of risk based and remote monitoring in clinical trials.
This is the first ever podcast for EUCROF and we are very happy to have been given the opportunity for this great collaboration. Follow the link below to have a listen.
New York, NY, May 12, 2020 – The Rohatyn Group (“TRG”), an emerging markets focused asset
management firm, today announced that it has completed an investment in Optimapharm d.o.o.
(“Optimapharm” or the “Company”), to establish a partnership with the company’s founders Gordana
Gregurić Čičak and Igor Čičak. Optimapharm is a contract research organization (“CRO”) managing
clinical trials on behalf of leading biotech, pharma and medical devices companies in 22 countries
Founded in 2006 in Croatia, Optimapharm is a full service mid-sized CRO with expertise in managing trials across Europe, providing tailored solutions and offering unrivalled access to patients. With premium professional services and competitive costs at the highest industry standards, the Company has a repeat business rate of over 95%. With TRG’s investment, Optimapharm will continue to grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions.
“Optimapharm is a highly attractive business that provides a unique offering in the European CRO space, leveraging its roots in South-East Europe. We believe that they are well-positioned for continued growth given the increasing prevalence of clinical trial services outsourcing across many important market segments, including oncology, an area in which they have a particular expertise,” said Colin Clark, TRG’s Head of EMEA Private Markets Investing and TRG Director Harold Chatelus. “CROs are increasingly acting as strategic advisors, actively proposing clinical study design advice and focusing on optimizing processes. We are proud to support the Company’s next chapter as well as the development of innovative treatments by Optimapharm’s clients.”
Nick Rohatyn, CEO of TRG added, “Optimapharm is a high-growth, pan-regional business that fits in perfectly with the rest of TRG’s portfolio. We believe strongly that the Company has the potential to be a leading player in the European CRO space thanks to its strong brand and dedication to high-quality service for its blue-chip clients around the world.”
Gordana Gregurić Čičak, founder and CEO, and Igor Čičak, founder and Chairman, commented, ”We are tremendously proud of the growth achieved by the team at Optimapharm, particularly in the last 18 months, which saw a rate of geographic expansion unprecedented in the firm’s history. TRG’s investment will accelerate the next phase in the Company’s development through further regional expansion and bolt-on acquisitions. We look forward to continuing our growth in partnership with The Rohatyn Group and leveraging the team’s expertise.”
TAIGA BIOTECHNOLOGIES and OPTIMAPHARM are pleased to announce their collaboration on the
development of advance therapy for COVID-19, to help address the ongoing pandemic.
Optimapharm is a leading European-CRO, with a focus on high quality, timely study delivery on behalf of their clients. Optimapharm is equally committed to support industry efforts to find safe and efficient treatment for COVID-19 as soon as possible. As such, OPTIMAPHARM is proud and excited to support Taiga Biotechnologies with their development plans and is fully dedicated to ensure rapid study set-up and enrolment of adult patients with early stage COVID-19 disease. solutions and quality delivery we pride ourselves on.
The trial is a multicenter, open label, phase 1b clinical study with primary objective to assess the safety, tolerability and early efficacy of a single dose TBX-3400 therapy in adult subjects with early stage COVID- 19 infection. TBX-3400 is composed of autologous human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from subjects with confirmed COVID-19 infection that have been exposed ex-vivo to TBX-4000, a synthetic fusion protein that upregulates transcription of MYC target genes. Preclinical studies have already shown TBX-3400 treatment leads to significant reductions in viral load from both DNA and RNA viruses (including Hepatitis B virus, Ebola Virus and Influenza Virus).
The trial will be conducted in 18 patients at multiple clinical sites across Europe, US and Israel. Top-line results are anticipated in January 2021 with preliminary results possibly available as early as autumn 2020.
As COVID-19 continues to impact the world, our tailored made Business Continuity Plan for COVID-19
ensures that during pandemic we continue to provide high quality and flexible services to our clients
while also protecting the health and safety of our personnel, patients and all our clients and partners.
OPTIMAPHARM is strictly complying with all local government-mandated restrictions and prevention procedures in all countries in which we operate and is carefully following up on any new event or announced restrictions. Besides this we have also implemented a voluntary work from home policy in all our 15 offices across Europe in order to ensure all our employees feel safe and can more easily take care of their loved ones. We have enabled all our personnel to work in a remote format in order to efficiently and effectively provide virtual service. We have provided guidance for risk-based and remote monitoring and we have implemented remote monitoring strategies across all active projects to ensure clinical trials proceed, and that site staff and patients are safe and in compliance with governmental policies. We understand that this is a challenging time, but we will continue to provide tailor made solutions and quality delivery we pride ourselves on.
We hope everyone remains safe!
#teamOptimapharm are very excited and proud to start with the set-up activities for a global, pivotal,
oncology trial for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, the most aggressive malignant primary
brain tumour with an average survival rate of only 14-15 months after diagnosis, making it a crucial
public health issue. Globally, over 241,000 people die each year as a result of brain or nervous system
cancer, with glioblastoma being the most common form of this disease. Therefore, new treatments, as
well as strategies for maximizing the benefit from currently available therapies are needed.
During the two days, a series of constructive and productive meetings were held, and guidelines were set for further project activities. For this new oncology project, OPTIMAPHARM will provide set-up, management, regulatory, monitoring and safety services in approximately 15 countries and 45 sites across Europe and Israel!
#teamOptimapharm are proud to support the fight against tumour diseases over the last 14 years and will continue to dedicate their oncology research expertise to help cancer patients by receiving the better treatments as fast as possible.
10 - 11 February 2020.Read more
OPTIMAPHARM will participate at 5 th European Conference on Clinical Research in
Amsterdam, on 10 & 11 February 2020.
The primary objective of the Conference is to ensure that all attendees are brought fully up to date with the current topics in Science, Technology and Regulations and how each of these can contribute to improving patients’ health.
Meet with our Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Gordana Greguric Cicak and discuss how OPTIMAPHARM may support you in your next clinical trial.
We are proud to announce that our Country Manager, Ana Stojkovic, DDM, MSc, and our Quality
Assurance and Training Director, Goran Vesov, MD, MSc, will deliver a webinar on a hot topic in the
Clinical Trials field: Risk-based and Remote Monitoring. The Webinar is part of the ongoing training
initiatives organized by the European CRO Federation (EUCROF).
The current trends in clinical monitoring move away from the traditional approach towards the more innovative methods. Using their rich experience in clinical trial management, Ana and Goran will focus on risk-based monitoring as a principal initiative for improving the quality and effect of the clinical trials, thereby ensuring subjects’ safety and data reliability. They will also discuss remote and centralized monitoring and their role in the risk-based approach to management of clinical trials.
OPTIMAPHARM has been an Associate Member of EUCROF since 2018, giving the Company an excellent opportunity to share and contribute to the development of know-how on management of clinical trials.
The webinar will be held on 23 July 2019 from 10:00AM to 11:30AM (CEST). The deadline for registration is 22 July 2019.
Speak to you soon!
For more information and registration please follow the link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/risk-based-and-remote-monitoring-registration-64319970764
OPTIMAPHARM is happy to once again sponsor Motovun Film Festival.
Besides our business goals, we at OPTIMAPHARM recognize how important social responsibility is and we highly and regularly support these types of events.
Motovun Film Festival is one of the most popular cultural events in Croatia and the best-known film festivals of Southeastern Europe. It is primarily dedicated to the films from small cinematographers and independent productions; films that excel with their innovative approach, ideas and intense stories. The idea behind the film program is to reflect diversity – esthetical, thematic, geographical… As many films from as many countries as possible, in order to show that the world of film is much wider and more colorful than it often seems.
The films are shown under a mild summer night sky in what is probably the most beautiful mediaeval town in Istria- Motovun.
Prepare the popcorn and enjoy!
For more details follow: https://motovunfilmfestival.com/
With the new acquisition Optimapharm expands its presence into core European markets by strengthening service offerings to biotech and medical device companies
Optimapharm, a leading independent clinical research organization (CRO) in Europe, acquired Denothex Ltd., significantly strengthening its presence in key European markets particularly in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Italy and thus broadening its customer base.
Denothex is a boutique CRO headquartered in Switzerland, managing clinical trials of all phases across Europe and Israel, with particular focus on biotechnology and medical devices in oncology.
By consolidating Denothex, Optimapharm is becoming one of the leading mid-size CRO companies in Europe. Optimapharm was established in Zagreb, Croatia, and operates through offices in 14 European countries. It covers markets with a total population of over 500 million people and has the expertise to conduct phase I – IV clinical research across Europe with a very strong footprint in Central and Eastern Europe.
“The clinical research market is experiencing a continued rise, and our goals grow with it. With the combination of continuous organic growth and targeted investments into complementary organizations, we have very successfully established ourselves as one of the leading players in the field of clinical research in Europe. We have a proven track record and continue to identify market opportunities and realize acquisitions with a successful integration in order to create more value for our clients, employees and shareholders. “We are enthusiastic about the acquisition of Denothex, which further strengthens our oncology and medical device expertise” said Gordana Gregurić Čičak, CEO of Optimapharm.
In late 2017 Optimapharm successfully acquired and consolidated the Czech company MKS Research, and in November of 2018 attracted a EUR 10 million investment by the Accession Mezzanine Capital fund.
“We have become part of an ambitious fast-growing company with well-structured study operations support and services. The integration with Optimapharm provides our customers with broader access to clinical study centers and patients. We very much look forward to becoming part of such a prosperous organization“, said Dr. Marc Salzberg, Chairman of Denothex.
Since it was founded, Optimapharm has conducted more than 280 clinical studies in 20 countries across Europe and Israel. Demand for CRO services continues to grow steadily, and substantially exceeds the growth rates of the economy globally. According to the 2017 New Market Research Report, the value of the global market for conducting clinical research by 2021 will reach nearly USD 50 billion. The largest market is the US, which accounts for 40 percent, whilst Europe remains the second largest market.
We are proud to announce that OPTIMAPHARM has been recognized in Pharma Tech Outlook
special edition on CRO Europe 2018, wherein we are named one of the Top 10 CRO’s in Europe.
As the CRO industry continues to experience change and adaption, it is without a doubt that clinical trials are becoming increasingly complex and costly. Several emerging trends indicate that there are numerous factors that will continue to define and redefine the role of CRO’s. Pharma Tech Outlook’s distinguished panel has selected the Top 10 CRO’s in Europe 2018, evaluating and recognizing competency to provide efficient plus cost-effective solutions and services to the industry.
Both the Founders of OPTIMAPHARM and their Chief BD Officer discuss OPTIMAPHARM’s in-depth understanding of the regions where they operate, and recognize that the strength of the company stems from its career pathway and culture of teamwork that focuses on high performance.
To read the full article follow this link: https://cro- europe.pharmatechoutlook.com/vendor/optimapharm-customerfocused-approach-to-drug- development-cid-229-mid-30.html
We are pleased to announce that OPTIMAPHARM has become the Associate Member of the
European CRO Federation (EUCROF).
EUCROF (the European CRO Federation), is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 with the objective to promote Clinical Research by improving the knowledge, competence/expertise and skills of Contract/Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) in Europe.
The Federation represents and supports the interests of CROs in Europe towards regulatory bodies, the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and other healthcare-related industry within the field of clinical research, as well as the medical and affiliated research community. EUCROF organizes and supports training and education programs to increase the quality of clinical research and to improve collaboration and interaction amongst all stakeholders in the field of Clinical Research in Europe. Active participation in international congresses and meetings further underlines the significant role of CROs in Clinical Research in Europe.
Regulatory Authorities recognize EUCROF as the representative for European-based CROs, regularly calling upon EUCROF to contribute to the never-ending debate on the improvement of rules and regulations.
This is an excellent opportunity for OPTIMAPHARM to actively participate in various EUCROF working groups, share and contribute to the know-how on management of clinical trials, further develop clinical trials expertise, and extend the professional network amongst fellow clinical research experts.
OPTIMAPHARM’s CEO, Gordana Gregurić Čičak, and Sr. Vice President Business Development, Maxime Stevens, will present OPTIMAPHARM at the EUCROF General Assembly in London on 06 and 07 December 2018.
For more details follow: https://www.eucrof.eu/
Mezzanine Management-advised fund AMC IV has committed €10m to support the
growth of OPTIMAPHARM, a leading European full-service clinical research
organization (CRO). The funds are earmarked for organic as well as acquisitive growth
and give the fund a minority stake in the business. The deal marks Mezzanine
Management’s first in Croatia.
OPTIMAPHARM organises, monitors and controls clinical trials of new drugs for clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device sectors. Founded in 2006 by Gordana Gregurić Čičak and Igor Čičak, the business has developed a market leading position in the Adriatic region and has gone on to conduct over 250 trials across 20 countries in Europe and Israel. It has done this through its 13 offices including in Cambridge, UK and Antwerp, Belgium. This extensive European coverage is complemented by its network of preferred partners in the US and Israel.
Global pharmaceutical companies are drawn to OPTIMAPHARM’s ability to offer high quality professional services at Western European standards but at a more competitive cost. OPTIMAPHARM also demonstrates fast start-up timelines, attractive patient recruitment rates and high-quality data capture. OPTIMAPHARM’s client-focused approach has seen it enjoy strong client recruitment and retention and achieve a repeat business rate of 95%.
With the backing of Mezzanine Management, OPTIMAPHARM is looking to grow through acquiring complementary CROs in CEE to consolidate the regional market and also to expand its presence in Western Europe. One acquisition in the Czech Republic has already taken place and has been fully integrated, with a number of additional opportunities in the pipeline.
The company employs over 120 people, 60% of which have more than eight years’ relevant clinical research experience and 30% of which have medical degrees or a PhD. The management team was recently strengthened with the appointment of a Senior VP of Business Development, who brings with her 25 years’ experience in executive leadership, including seven years with the World Health Organization.
Chris Buckle, Managing Partner at Mezzanine Management, has joined OPTIMAPHARM’s Supervisory Board as part of the deal. He said: “OPTIMAPHARM is a perfect fit for AMC’s tried and tested growth capital investment strategy. Run by an ambitious team of highly accomplished professionals, the business has grown rapidly to become the market leader in its core Adriatic region with an increasing footprint across the wider CEE and Western European regions. We have been in discussions with management for some time and already devised an exciting pipeline of accretive add- on opportunities, which we look forward to supporting, to help transform OPTIMAPHARM into a major independent European player.”
The OPTIMAPHARM deal is the fourth to be funded from AMC IV, with ATM, Netrisk and Nettle already in the portfolio.
Mezzanine Management was advised by KPMG Croatia (financial and tax due diligence) and Wolf Theiss (Vienna and Zagreb, legal, documentation). OPTIMAPHARM was advised by M&A advisors Provectus Capital (M&A) and Buterin & Posavec (Zagreb, legal).
Mezzanine Management is the exclusive advisor to the Accession Mezzanine Capital group of funds, whose total investments exceed €600m. Mezzanine Management has been operating in Central and Eastern Europe since 2001 through its offices in Vienna, Warsaw, Bucharest, Budapest and Prague. The funds’ investment portfolio is diverse with 50 transactions over 12 countries in CEE. The funds are backed by reputable institutional investors, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Fund and a number of banks, funds of funds, pension funds and insurance companies.
Chris is a seasoned financial professional with over 20 years’ experience in providing structured finance and equity capital to companies in both Western and Central & Eastern Europe. Chris is British and lives in Prague. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Loughborough University and a Diploma in Marketing.
Since 2005 Chris has been a partner at Mezzanine Management, the first dedicated mezzanine fund manager for Central and Eastern Europe. It manages four funds with total funds raised of over EUR 650 million. The latest fund, AMC Capital Capital IV ScSP was established in mid-2017. The four funds have made 49 investments in 12 countries of the central and eastern European region to date.
BBetween 2000 and 2005 Chris was head of Acquisition Finance, Central and Eastern Europe at Erste Bank where he was a pioneer in the region’s fledgling acquisition finance market.
Before joining Erste Bank in 1997, he was an Investment Manager at HSBC Ventures, a private equity operation focusing on small buy-outs in the UK.
We are extremely pleased to have Chris joining our Board.
For further information please contact:
Human Resources Manager
Phone: +385 1 5553 600
Optimapharm is a leading regional clinical research organization (CRO) in the SEE markets. Over the next three years,
Optimapharm plans to double its revenues via organic growth and add on acquisitions to become the largest
independent CRO in the whole of CEE
Following the global trend of consolidating market positions of clinical research organizations (CROs), Optimapharm, the leading CRO in SEE, acquired the Czech CRO company MKS Research.
By acquiring MKS Research, Optimapharm will enter the Czech market, and further strengthen its portfolio of clients in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and its market position in Central Europe. The move is in line with Optimapharm’s medium-term strategic objective of becoming the largest independent CRO in CEE, with business operations across Europe and the U.S.
“The clinical research market is experiencing a continued rise, and we have the knowhow, references and strong financial position enabling us to lead the consolidation in the region. Moreover, our ambition is to double our revenues over the next three years, and continue acquiring good-quality companies such as MKS Research,” Optimapharm CEO Gordana Gregurić Čičak said.
By consolidating MKS Research, Optimapharm will have a total of 120 full-time employees and annual revenues over EUR 12 million. Optimapharm is headquartered in Zagreb, Croatia, and has offices in more than ten European countries. It covers markets with over 200 million people and has the expertise to conduct phase I – IV clinical research across Europe and through partners in the U.S.
“We are becoming a part of a much larger company with structured operational support. This means that we will be even better able to focus on projects and growth in the Czech and Slovak markets, while our employees will get new opportunities to develop their careers within an international group and work on more complex projects,” MKS Research executive director Veronika Sebkova stated.
The value of the global clinical research market has been growing in the last several years at annual rates of more than 10 percent. In 2016, it reached USD 31.4 billion. It is expected to reach USD 49.26 billion in the 2017 – 2021 period (New Market Research Report, December 2017). The biggest market is the U.S., accounting for 40 percent of the global market, with Europe being the second biggest one.
Optimapharm is the biggest independent clinical research organization in Southeast Europe. It was founded in 2005 in Zagreb, and has since built up a professional multidisciplinary team with expertise in clinical research in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries. More than 60 percent of employees have more than six years of experience in relevant clinical research, while more than a third of all employees are doctors in various fields of medicine and life sciences.
Optimapharm has taken part in many international clinical programs that resulted in commercialization of new drugs in the segments of oncology, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases, pulmonology, psychiatry and neurology. Optimapharm has a strong track record in conducting pediatric clinical trials in various indications. The company has the most expertise in clinical research in the field of oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
For more information, visit www.Optimapharm.eu.
Recognizing needs for further expansion to meet the specific requirements of our customers,
OPTIMAPHARM, the largest Central and South-Eastern European Clinical Research Organisation,
established legal entity and office - in Tbilisi, Georgia and Sofia, Bulgaria.
A significant effort has been made to improve Georgia’s healthcare policy and system in recent years, offering a great potential for running clinical trials in this region and at the same time creating a huge opportunity for the patients to have access to the latest treatments. Therefore, OPTIMAPHARM decided to be a part of these positive developments and to facilitate trial acquisition and execution upon the request of clients. Bulgaria’s presence reinforces OPTIMAPHARM’s intention to increase the capacity of Clinical Operations and to strengthen the presence in Central and South-Eastern Europe.
Having operations across 10 leading countries in the region and offering a full range of clinical trial services from fast patient recruitment, clinical trial design, management and monitoring, to regulatory affairs and data management and analysis, OPTIMAPHARM is recognized as an excellent partner for conducting trials within Emerging regions in Europe.
'We want to support our clients with their plans to conduct cost-efficient and fast enrolling trials and we pay close attention to a more personalized approach to trial execution. By opening new sites with additional resources, we believe this will significantly help in our efforts to provide fast and high quality services for our clients', says Gordana Greguric Cicak, CEO at OPTIMAPHARM.
Business Development Officer
Optimapharm continues to expand the Clinical Operations team by appointing Ivaylo Yordanov as Country Manager in Bulgaria.
Ivaylo is a skilled Clinical Research professional with over 10 years of experience in one of the top global pharmaceutical companies. Working as a Clinical Research Associate, specializing in Diabetes, Hemophilia, Obesity and Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, Ivaylo demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and motivation thus advancing initially to Local and later becoming the Regional Trial Manager and finally to the position of Clinical Research Manager at Novo Nordisk, Bulgaria. Ivaylo will supervise and coordinate the complex and challenging activities related to the clinical trial execution where the combination of both clinical research expertise and effective management skills are needed.
A strong and experienced team is key to reaching our ambitions and fulfilling high expectations from our clients. Ivaylo brings a strong know-how in managing clinical research projects making him a great addition to our team as we accelerate the growth of Optimapharm.
For further information please contact:
Human Resources Manager
Phone:+385 1 5553 600
As a part of the growing strategy, Optimapharm announced the expansion of its senior
management team through appointment of Goran Vesov, MD as Director of the Quality
assurance and training department.
Goran brings over 17 years of experience in research and pharmaceutical industry. He has a medical background and is a specialist in Paediatrics. His career in drug development started in Novo Nordisk, where he moved from CRA to various leadership positions - such as Clinical Quality and Training Manager, Clinical Research Manager and Head of Clinical Europe East. In 2013 he started working in the Novo Nordisk European HQ in Zurich as a Senior Quality and Education Manager, the position he held until he joined Optimapharm. During his career, Goran has provided quality control/support and training around the globe, acquiring thorough insight in these processes. To develop his leadership skills, Goran has graduated at the prestigious Scandinavian International Management Institute in Copenhagen.
With his experience and knowledge, he is the right person to accelerate the development of Optimapharm by strongly contributing to the advancement of our quality and training systems.
For further information please contact:
Human Resources Manager
Optimapharm, the largest Central and South-Eastern European Clinical Research provider,
continues to offer broad and high quality services to accelerate ambitious clinical
development programs for their Clients. As a result of growing demand for emerging
markets, an office has been opened in Ljubljana, Slovenia in June 2017 and a new, larger
office has been acquired in Skopje, Macedonia in May 2017.
With the increasing capacity of Clinical Operations and strengthening of presence in Central and South-Eastern Europe, Optimapharm has gained considerable strategic value to support the Clients’ growing demand. Optimapharm currently employs over 100 experienced clinical trial professionals covering 12 countries throughout Europe . Optimapharm offers wide range of services across all functional areas including Clinical Operations, Regulatory & Ethics, Clinical Project Management, Quality Assurance, Data Management, Bio-Statistics, Medical Writing and Pharmacovigilance for clinical trials Phases I-IV and non-interventional studies.
Commenting on the investment, Gordana Greguric Cicak, CEO at Optimapharm said: ‘This is a valuable strategic investment for Optimapharm as there is a high demand for conducting clinical research in our region because pharma and biotech companies continue to recognise value of emerging regions.’
Josipa Bello, PhD
Business Development Officer
Mobile: +32 473 51 83 70
Apart from being key regional partner in cutting edge medical research we do not forget to engage as a responsible corporate citizen of the global community. This year again we will be supporting Motovun Film Festival. As primarily dedicated to the films from small cinematographers and independent productions, films that have a hard time fighting their way to theaters and wide audiences, this festival celebrates the authors sticking to their artistic stubbornness, unconventionality and originality. It will take place in small and beautiful medieval town Motovun in Istria, end of July