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Advarra Announces Intent to Acquire Forte, Market-Leading Provider of Clinical Technology Solutions

The move strengthens the site-centric solutions portfolio of the largest global research compliance services organization

(COLUMBIA, Md. and MADISON, Wis., September 5, 2019) – Advarra, the premier provider of institutional review board (IRB), institutional biosafety committee (IBC), and research quality and compliance consulting services, is pleased to announce the intent to acquire Forte, the industry’s leading provider of standards-based clinical research technology solutions for major academic medical centers, cancer centers, and health systems. Forte offers a fully integrated suite of solutions for clinical trial management, clinical data management, and research administration, including OnCore, Forte’s flagship enterprise CTMS.

“Forte is known across the research community as the gold standard for eClinical technology solutions,” said Pat Donnelly, CEO of Advarra. “Their organizational culture and values are the perfect complement to Advarra’s ‘altogether better’ approach to advancing clinical research. We look forward to collaborating with Forte’s customers and team members to continue to enhance their outstanding products and services with additional investment to serve our mutual clients.”

The combined organization supports nearly 100,000 active protocol records with top academic medical centers and health systems. Forte boasts 98 percent cumulative customer retention over 19 years of operation, serving 72 percent of NCI-designated cancer centers and 70 percent of the top 50 NIH-funded research institutions in 2019. The transaction supports continued growth for both businesses, as Advarra offers the greatest institutional reach of any independent IRB, serving well over 3,200 research institutions, health systems, and academic medical centers.

“We’re extremely proud of the highly collaborative customer community we have built over the last 19 years, which has resulted in a site-centric, integrated suite of industry-leading standards-based products and services,” said Shree Kalluri, CEO and Founder of Forte. “Joining Advarra is a great win for the research community and provides an outstanding platform for an interconnected clinical research ecosystem. Together we can transform clinical research and impact patients’ lives through the combination of eClinical technology solutions and research compliance and human subject protection services.”

“After our acquisition of Advarra in July, the Forte transaction represents a significant next step in developing, acquiring, and growing best-in-market solutions for products and services that streamline research, support faster study start-up, and enhance human research protections,” said David Golde, Managing Director of Genstar Capital. “We are excited about the value the combined organization will bring to Advarra and Forte customers.”

Forte is a portfolio company of Primus Capital. Ropes & Gray served as legal counsel to Advarra. Baird served as exclusive financial advisor and Goodwin Proctor LLP served as legal counsel to Forte. The transaction is expected to close later in September.

About Advarra

Advarra, headquartered in Columbia, Md., provides institutional review board (IRB), institutional biosafety committee (IBC) and global research compliance services to clinical trial sponsors, CROs, hospital systems, academic medical centers and investigators. Its robust regulatory expertise and innovative technology ensure the highest standards of research review are met, while putting participants first and meeting complex human research protection oversight requirements. Advarra supports all phases of research across multiple therapeutic areas. For more information, visit advarra.com.

About Forte

Forte provides software and services in the critical areas of clinical trial management, clinical data management, and research administration for cancer centers, academic medical centers, and health systems.

With a strong belief in community, collaboration, and standards-based development, Forte also facilitates the Onsemble Community, a customer-exclusive group for peer networking, best practices, and support. Twice a year at the Onsemble Conference, clinical research professionals meet in person and discuss the latest challenges and solutions in clinical research.

Forte provides all research professionals complimentary blog articles, eBooks, webinars, and more to support continuous learning on industry topics. For more information, visit forteresearch.com.

About Genstar Capital

Genstar Capital is a leading private equity firm that has been actively investing in high quality companies for over 30 years. Based in San Francisco, Genstar works in partnership with its management teams and its network of strategic advisors to transform its portfolio companies into industry-leading businesses. Genstar currently has approximately $17 billion of assets under management and targets investments focused on targeted segments of the financial services, healthcare, industrial technology, and software industries. For more information on Genstar, please visit www.gencap.com.

About Primus Capital

Primus Capital is a growth-oriented private equity firm focused on investing in leading healthcare, software, and technology-enabled services companies. Primus has invested in over 130 companies, partnering with exceptional management teams to accelerate growth and create shareholder value by applying its industry knowledge, financial resources, and investment experience. For more information about Primus Capital, please visit www.primuscapital.com.

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