ICON has concluded the previously announced acquisition of contract research company PRA Health Sciences for a total consideration of approximately $12bn.

The companies signed a merger agreement in February 2021, under which ICON paid  $80 in cash per share and 0.4125 shares of its stock to PRA shareholders.

According to the deal, PRA Health Sciences became a wholly owned unit of ICON.

The merged company will operate under the name ICON with a total of 38,000 employees. It will work from 150 locations across 47 countries as of 1 July 2021.

A global healthcare intelligence partner, PRA Health Sciences offers clinical development services such as clinical trial management, statistical analysis, data management, medical writing and regulatory and drug development consulting.

Founded in 1990, ICON delivers consulting and outsourced development and commercialisation services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and government and public health firms.

ICON expects its combination with PRA Health Sciences to create a leading advanced healthcare intelligence and clinical research organisation.

The merger will enhance consulting, clinical and commercial services portfolio, geographic presence, therapeutic capabilities and data-powered healthcare technology of the new ICON, which aims to provide internationally scaled expertise and solutions.

The new company will build on its strengthened operations to enhance clinical trials and expedite the commercial achievement of its biopharma clients via the development of drug and medical devices.

Furthermore, the combined entity will focus on fast-tracking drug development by utilising data, applying technology and identifying varied patient populations. It will primarily execute clinical trials, including Phase I and post-approval studies.

Last month, PRA Health Sciences partnered with Veradigm to establish an electronic healthcare record-based clinical research network in the US.

The new network will reach around 25,000 physicians and 40 million patients across the country.