Global clinical research organisation (CRO) Emmes has acquired UK-based rare diseases CRO Orphan Reach to boost its research base for orphan and rare diseases, as well as to bolster growth opportunities.

The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Founded in 2002, Orphan Reach supports rare disease patients in about 70 countries. It works to expedite access to new treatments across various therapeutic areas.

In addition to the UK, the company has operations in Ireland, Germany, India, Canada and the US.

Orphan Reach founder and CEO Thomas Ogorka said: “I look forward to this new chapter in our history and to further extending our leadership in rare and orphan disease research that leads to new treatment options for these patients.”

In December last year, Emmes acquired a CRO, Neox, which is based in the EU. Emmes expects the international presence of Neox and Orphan Reach to extend its global reach and biopharmaceutical clients.

Emmes CEO Dr Christine Dingivan said: “We believe that Orphan Reach and Emmes will be highly synergistic; we will combine Emmes’ deep strategic drug development and advanced statistical capabilities with the exceptional patient-centred global operations experience of the Orphan Reach team.

“With more than 7,000 rare diseases identified and only 400 treatments available, this represents a large research opportunity and demonstrates our commitment to advancing public health and addressing unmet medical needs for all populations.”

In another development, R&D marketing firm BBK Worldwide has introduced its Engagement Solution Center intended for patient-centric and inclusive trials.

The solution is said to centralise the design, management, operations and communications of support services related to patient visits. The aim is to lower the burdens of rare disease research, large, Phase IV and V trials.