PRA Health Sciences

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PRA Health Sciences, Inc.
Type Public
Industry Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
Founded 1976
Slogan The future of clinical development
Headquarters Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Key people Colin Shanon (President & CEO)
Linda Baddour (Executive vice president & CFO)
Investors KKR PRA Investors L.P.
Number of employees More than 13,000 [1]
Related Certifications Certificate in Current Pharmacovigilance Regulatory Landscape

PRA Health Sciences is global contract research organization which provides outsourced clinical development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The company has extensive therapeutic expertise in the largest in pharmaceutical development, including oncology, central nervous system, inflammation and infectious diseases and provides embedded and functional outsourcing services with the exclusive focus on Phase I-IV study management.

PRA Health Sciences is headquartered in Raleigh, NC, with running operations across six continents, with more than 70 offices across North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East, and approximately 13,000 employees worldwide. [2][3][4]PRA Health Sciences (PRA) has worked to develop a variety of compounds, ranging from niche treatments and therapies to blockbuster drugs.

PRA has participated in several Clinical Trials of note such as the Landmark Alzheimer's Prevention Clinical Trial, a collaborative effort involving the Banner Alzheimer's Institute (BAI); Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; the University of Antioquia in Colombia; and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).[29]


  • 1976 - The company began in Charlottesville as an anti-inflammatory drug study group. [5]
  • 1982 - It was renamed as Pharmaceutical Research Associates Inc. (PRA), a data management clinical research organization (CRO). [6][7]
  • 1991 - The company extended its services to clinical trial management and drug safety and expanded its global reach by opening the first European office. [8]
  • 1996 - The company changed its name to PRA International with the aim to become a global CRO, and it reached a number of 333 employees. [9][10]
  • October 1996 - PRA International was acquired by Carlyle Group for approximately $19 million. [11][12]
  • April 1997 - The Company acquired International Medical Technical Consultants, Inc (IMTCI), a CRO with a trials management and clinical research center in Lenexa, Kansas, and three investigational sites in Kansas for enabling services of Phase I clinical testing and early Phase II proof-of-concept studies. [13]
  • May 1997 - PRA International acquired another CRO and site management organization Crucible Group, Inc.through IMTCI, which owned a clinical research center and investigational sites in Atlanta, another investigational site in Savannah, Georgia and an investigational affiliation in San Juan, Puerto Rico. [14]
  • February 01, 1999 - The company acquired CRO Valorum-UK based in the United Kingdom and its Polish subsidiary to expand the range of services and enhance conducting of large clinical trials. [15]
  • January 18, 2000 - The second expansion to Europe which company made by acquisition oF ARCAM, CRO based in Paris, brought the number of the PRA employees in Europe to more than 250. [16]
  • June 19, 2002 - PRA International expanded its reach to North America, South America, Africa, and Australia and extended its capabilities in CNS clinical development by acquiring CroMedica International Inc., based in Victoria, Canada. [17]
  • July 09, 2001 - Private Equity Firm Genstar Capital acquired PRA International. [18]
  • April 30, 2002 - With the third European acquisition since 1999, PRA International made a Staticon, a CRO based in Madrid, its base of operations in Spain and further expanded its presence in the major European pharmaceutical markets. [19]
  • October 8, 2003 - Further expansion in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and bordering countries with the acquisition of Valid-Trio GmbH expanded PRA's ability to conduct clinical trials in the Eastern Europe.
  • December 1, 2003 - PRA International acquired ClinCare Consulting BVBA based in Brussels, Belgium to strengthen its capabilities in cardiovascular, CNS, oncology, and rheumatology clinical development and expand operations in Western Europe.
  • July 29, 2004 - PRA International went pubic as publicly traded stock on NASDAQ under the symbol “PRAI.” [20]
  • April 27, 2005 - The company acquired GMG BioBusiness headquartered in London, United Kingdom, provider of a range of regulatory and product development of consulting services. [21]
  • June 06, 2005 - Clinical Consultants, Inc. (RxCCI) was a second strategic acquisition of regulatory and product development consultancy companies in 2005. Both acquired organizations were integrated into PRA's strategic product development service offering within the Global Regulatory Affairs Group. [22]
  • May 23, 2006 - PRA International expanded its clinical operations in Asia with the purchase of Sterling Synergy Systems Private based in Mumbai, India. [23]
  • June 19, 2006 - The company acquired Pharma Bio-Research (PBR), a private early- phase clinical development company based in Zuidlaren, Netherland to expand its phase I/IIa service offering and international presence. This acquisition formed the basis for the group within PRA now known as Early Development Services (EDS). [24][25]
  • July 2007 - PRA International reached number of 3.300 employees in 25 offices worldwide. [26]
  • July 31, 2007 - After approximately three years as a public company, PRA International was reacquired by Genstar Capital and returns to being a privately held company. [27]
  • June 25, 2008 - PRA International augmented its German operations by an acquisition of Pharmacon, a CRO based in Berlin, with the main goal to further expand EDS business in Central and Eastern Europe. [28]
  • May 1, 2008 - The company relocated its headquarters to Raleigh from Reston, Virginia, to reduce cost and be closer to the clients. [29]
  • November 16, 2010 - PRA International opened bioanalytical services laboratory in Lenexa, Kansas which offers clinical customers streamlined services. [30]
  • January 1, 2010 - Colin Shannon was named Chief Executive Officer at PRA International. [31]
  • May 20, 2011 - PRA International acquired Kinship Technologies, an India-based software developer and services company with its industry changing system, EXACT, and team to simplify and automate the production of multiple CDISC standards as well as tables, figures, and listings (TFLs) in reports. [32]
  • 2012 - PRA International opened offices in Singapore, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Beijing, China, and Belgrade, Serbia. [33]
  • 2013 - The company reached the number of 10,000+ employees in 70+ offices worldwide. [34]
  • January 8, 2013 - The company teamed up with Shanghai-based WuXi PharmaTech for a joint venture which combined their clinical operations in China into a single CRO that is jointly owned by the two companies and with official offices in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou that cover all regions of the country. [35]
  • March 04, 2013 - PRA International acquired privately held ClinStar, LLC, a CRO managing Phase I-IV clinical research trials in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic States to support its growth in Russia and Eastern Europe. [36]
  • March 25, 2013 – The company was voted “Best CRO” for the 3rd annual BioPharma Asia Industry Awards 2013. [37]
  • June 24, 2013 - KKR & Co. acquired PRA International to accelerate their innovation and growth. [38]
  • September 24, 2013 - KKR acquired ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services (RPS) and merged it with PRA to create the fourth largest CRO with the enhanced array of services. [39]
  • November 13, 2013 - PRA International acquired privately held CRI Lifetree, a specialized research organization which was one of the largest providers of patient population Phase I and confined Phase II-III services in the United States, to enhance growth, especially in the area of Phase I-II services in specialized patient populations for both inpatient and outpatient settings and become the most comprehensive Phase I organization in the world. [40]
  • June 16, 2014 - PRA International officially became PRA Health Sciences and in addition to the new name, PRA introduced a new online presentation. [41]
  • November 13, 2014 - PRA Health Sciences went public as publicly traded stock on NASDAQ under the symbol “PRAH” and the company reached the number of more than 10,000 employees worldwide. [42]
  • October 26, 2015 - Bioanalytical Laboratory was opened in Assen, the Netherlands located near to PRA’s Phase I clinics in Groningen and Zuidlaren, providing easy access and analysis of the most time-critical samples and execution of adaptive trials. [43]
  • April 24, 2015 - PRA Health Sciences won a number of the prestigious PharmaTimes International Clinical Researcher of the Year competition awards in several categories including the Clinical Company of the Year 2015. [44]
  • April 27, 2016 - PRA Health Sciences has been recognized as the Best Clinical Research Company of the Year and received the award at the Pharma Times Clinical Researcher of the Year Americas ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia. The company also reached the number of approximately 12,000 employees in 70 offices worldwide. [45]
  • May 17, 2016 - The third time in a row PRA Health Sciences was recognized as the Clinical Research Company of the Year and received the award at the PharmaTimes International Clinical Researcher of the Year ceremony in London. [46]
  • February 15, 2017 - PRA Health Sciences and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited announced that they have agreed to a new partnership to expand their global relationship to Japan initially disclosed in September 2016. [47]
  • August 07, 2017 - The company acquired Symphony Health Solutions, a leading provider of integrated health data and analytics delivered as cloud-based solutions. [48]

Services and therapeutic areas

Services [49]
Bioanalytical laboratories [50] Biometrics [51] Clinical pharmacology [52] Clinical development [53] Strategic solutions [54] Post-marketing research [55] Clinical diagnostics [56] Safety and risk management [57]
  • LC-MS/MS, including ABSciex 6500
  • UPLC Equipment
  • Ligand binding assay
  • Clinical chemistry laboratory (Stimulation assays, enzymatic activity)
  • Flow citometry unit
  • Radiosotope laboratory
  • Biohazard laboratory
  • PK of small molecules
  • PK of large molecules
  • Immunogenicity assays
  • Biomarker assays
  • GMP pharmaceutical analysis
  • Co-located with PRA clinic
  • Portfolio management
  • Biostatistics and programming
  • Data operations
  • Medical writing and publishing
  • Standards
  • Clinical system management
  • Design
    • Program development
    • Study design
    • Protocol and CRF development
  • Conduct
    • Manufacturing
    • Pharmaceutical analysis
    • Clinical conduct, Safety Lab, PK/PD analysis
  • Reporting
    • Data management
    • PK analysis
    • Report preparation
  • Management
    • Project management
    • Management of external phase I sites
    • Monitoring
  • Risk-Based Monitoring
  • Clinical Operations
  • Scientific Affairs
  • Feasibility
  • Site Intelligence and Strategic Development
  • Investigator and Site Engagement program
  • Medical Informatics
  • Patient recruitment and retention
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Project Management
  • Medical Affairs
  • Clinical monitoring
  • Quality Assurance
  • Late phase services
  • Study design
  • Proven experience
  • Observational research
  • Safety and risk management
  • Clinical in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) and biomarker research
  • Extensive experience in successfully performing clinical diagnostic studies
  • Centralised site support
  • Comprenhensive site management
  • Pharmacovigilance systems and technology
  • Case menagement
  • Safety monitoring
  • Safety profiling
  • Periodic safety reporting
  • Benefit risk management
Therapeutic areas [58]
  • Biosimilars
  • Cardio-metabolic
  • Immunology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Neurology and psychiatry (CNS)
  • Oncology and hematology
  • Rare diseases
  • Respiratory/allergy
  • Vaccine Solutions


Worldwide locations

With multiple locations around the globe, PRA Health Sciences has developed the global network of their regional offices and sites in six continents. Here are listed countries with PRA Health Sciences regional offices and sites: [59]
North America

Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, New Jersey, North Carolina, California, Utah and British Columbia

South America

Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Peru

Central and Eastern Europe

Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Czech Republic, and Poland

Western Europe

Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, Belgium, Scotland, Sweden, Italy, France, and United Kingdom

Middle East Israel
Asia Pacific

Thailand, China, India, Phillippines, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan


South Africa


The company’s competitors are primarily other full-service CROs and in-house research and development departments of pharmaceutical and established biotech companies. Its major competitors include Covance, ICON, INC Research, PAREXEL International Corporation, Pharmaceutical Product Development, Quintiles and inVentiv Health.

Competitive factors include:

  • Reliability;
  • Past performance;
  • Expertise and experience in specific therapeutic areas;
  • Scope of service offerings;
  • Strengths in various geographic markets;
  • Technological capabilities;
  • Ability to manage large scale global clinical trials;
  • Price; [60]



Featured videos

Top 5 Recent Tweets

January 11, 2022Healthcare_46Read More - According to Global Market Insights Inc, The Contract Research Organization (CR…
January 11, 2022Healthcare_46Read More - According to Global Market Insights Inc, The Clinical Trials Market revenue to…

Top 5 Recent News Headlines

  1. August 11, 2016 - PRA Health Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: PRAH) downgraded at Zacks - Analysts at Zacks downgraded shares of PRA Health Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: PRAH) from Buy to Hold in a research note to investors today. Wall Street analysts presently have a consensus one-year price target of $51.94 on the stock. [61]
  2. May 17, 2016 - PRA Health Sciences Named International Clinical Research Company of the Year - PRA Health Sciences, Inc., (PRA) (NASDAQ:PRAH) is pleased to announce that for the third consecutive year it was recognized as the Clinical Research Company of the Year. PRA received the award at the PharmaTimes International Clinical Researcher of the Year ceremony in London. [62]
  3. May 4, 2016 - KKR to sell chunk of PRA Health Sciences shares - Investment firm KKR will reduce its position in Raleigh-based PRA Health Sciences (Nasdaq: PRAH), a move that will make PRA no longer a “controlled company” by Nasdaq rules. KKR will reduce its ownership in PRA from 58 percent to 49.8 percent by selling 4.9 milling shares, an amount worth $224 million based on March 3 opening price of $45.74. [63]
  4. March 02, 2016 - PRA Health Sciences, Inc. Announces Secondary Offering of Five Million Shares of Common Stock - PRA Health Sciences, Inc. (the “Company”) (NASDAQ:PRAH) today announced that certain of its stockholders (the “Selling Stockholders”), intend to offer for sale in an underwritten secondary offering five million shares of common stock of the Company pursuant to the Company’s shelf registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. [64]
  5. April 18, 2016 - PRA Health Sciences Named Clinical Research Company of the Year - PRA Health Sciences, Inc., (PRA) (NASDAQ:PRAH) is pleased to announce it was once again recognized as the Best Clinical Research Company of the Year. PRA received the award at the PharmaTimes Clinical Researcher of the Year Americas ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia. [65]

Top 5 Lifetime Tweets

Date Author Tweet
Jun 4, 2015 ‏@PRAHSciences PRA wins Best Clinical Company of the Year Americas Award #PharmaTimes. And new and experienced CRA and team awards.
February 9, 2015 @TheraGlobal PRA Health Sciences Announces Appointment of New Director: RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRA...
Jun 16, 2014 @INFORMER_adm INFORMER NEWS2: PRA Advances to Become PRA Health Sciences - RALEIGH, N.C., June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --PRA, a le...
Jun 24, 2013 @Reuters_Health KKR funds to buy clinical trial firm PRA International
March 5, 2013 @Healthcare_BCG US-based clinical research organization PRA has acquired ClinStar, a clinical research organiz... #Pharma #Health

Top 5 Lifetime News Headlines

  1. May 17, 2016 - PRA Health Sciences Named International Clinical Research Company of the Year - PRA Health Sciences, Inc., (PRA) (NASDAQ:PRAH) is pleased to announce that for the third consecutive year it was recognized as the Clinical Research Company of the Year. PRA received the award at the PharmaTimes International Clinical Researcher of the Year ceremony in London. This award follows PRA’s recent recognition as Clinical Research Company of the Year in the PharmaTimes Americas competition where PRA captured six individual awards, including two gold (Experienced CRA and Strategic Partnership—PRA and CytRx). [66]
  2. April 24, 2015 - PRA Health Sciences cleans up at PharmaTimes Clinical Researcher awards - Winners of the prestigious PharmaTimes International Clinical Researcher of the Year competition were unveiled at a buzzing awards ceremony in London last night, with PRA Health Sciences striking gold in several categories, including the coveted Clinical Company of the Year 2015. [67]
  3. November 12, 2014 - PRA Health Science, Inc. announces pricing of its initial public offering - PRA Health Sciences, Inc. (“PRA”), a leading global contract research organization, today announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 16,976,744 shares of its common stock at $18.00 per share. The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on November 13, 2014, under the ticker symbol “PRAH,” and the offering is expected to close on November 18, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions. [68]
  4. June 24, 2013 - KKR to Acquire PRA International - PRA International ("PRA"), a leading clinical research organization, today announced that funds managed by KKR, a leading global investment firm, are acquiring PRA from Genstar Capital, LLC ("Genstar"), a private equity firm based in San Francisco. [69]
  5. January 8, 2013, WuXi and PRA form Chinese joint venture - Shanghai-based WuXi PharmaTech has teamed up with its US counterpart PRA for a joint venture that will see the two offer contract research services in WuXi's home territory. The contract research organisations (CROs) will combine their clinical operations in China into a single CRO that will be jointly owned by the two companies. [70]



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