Cambridge Cognition Holdings Plc is to acquire eClinicalHealth, a virtual clinical trial solution provider, for consideration of up to £1.7 million.  

Cambridge Cognition develops and markets digital solutions to assess brain health. It says the deal presents an exciting opportunity for the company to expand its VCT offering considerably in a rapid growth market.

Described as a patient-centric platform that connects patients, sites and pharmaceutical companies, eCH’s technology enables all the essential steps in a clinical trial. It can support both in-clinic and at-home trials.  

Virtual clinical trials provide an opportunity to help address many of the issues that confront drug development programmes, including recruitment, retention, diversity, trial delays and costs. 

Many central nervous system disorders, such as depression or Alzheimer’s disease, are suited to virtual clinical trials as clinic visits may not be essential and day-to-day measurements – such as the short daily cognitive assessments provided by Cambridge Cognition – at home may provide richer information on the progress of the condition. 

eCH is working on trials for three of the world’s top 10 largest pharmaceutical companies. It has also been selected to deliver a virtual clinical trial solution for a prestigious diabetes research project led by a consortium of major pharmaceutical companies.  

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The initial cash payment at completion of the acquisition – expected to be this month – will be £400,000, with up to a further £800,000 payable before May 2024. The balance of the consideration of up to £500,000 will be settled through the issue of new ordinary shares in the company, contingent on project delivery and commercial execution milestones being achieved.

For the year ended 31st January 2022, eCH generated revenue of £1m and reported a loss before tax of £300,000.  

“This acquisition is an exciting step in our strategic goal to provide a specialist dedicated service for CNS clinical trials,” said Matthew Stork, CEO of Cambridge Cognition. “The continued rise in virtual trials, and CNS virtual trials in particular, has led us to carefully consider how best to expand our offering quickly to serve this growing market.

“The acquisition provides Cambridge Cognition the opportunity to capitalise on this market momentum more rapidly than organic development, particularly given eClinicalHealth was identified as a strong technology target. 

“The business offers the functionality to make us more competitive in the CNS virtual trials space and opens the wider Cambridge Cognition business to their established client base of major pharmaceutical, medical device and contract research organisations.”

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