CenExel Acquires Apex Innovative Sciences

Jun 16, 2022 | Blog, CenExel, CenExel CNS, CenExel HRI, News, Press Releases

Salt Lake City, June 16, 2022 /GlobeNewswire/ — CenExel announces the acquisition of Apex Innovative Sciences, parent company of Collaborative Neuroscience Research (CNS) and Hassman Research Institute (HRI), which will be renamed as “CenExel CNS” and “CenExel HRI”, respectively, going forward. CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI consist of five prominent clinical research sites across California and New Jersey with significant expertise in early phase complex clinical trials and particular emphasis on central nervous system (CNS) indications. CenExel CNS will continue to be led by Dr. David Walling, while CenExel HRI will continue under the direction of Dr. Howard Hassman. Both leaders have decades of experience conducting Phase I-IV studies across a variety of CNS medical specialties. The primary therapeutic areas served by these five Centers include Complex Early Phase normal healthy volunteer (NHV) and patient studies, Psychiatry, Addiction (including human abuse liability/human abuse potential), Neurology, Pain, Ethnic Bridging, and General Medicine (particularly vaccine, endocrine, and infectious diseases).

The acquisition of CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI elevates CenExel to be the most prolific wholly-owned neuroscience research site network in the world. These locations expand CenExel’s reach in California and New Jersey. CenExel CNS brings facilities in Garden Grove, CA; Long Beach, CA; and Torrance, CA, adding to CenExel’s five existing California clinical research centers. CenExel HRI has facilities in Berlin, NJ and Marlton, NJ, complimenting CenExel AMRI in Toms River, NJ. Each organization has moved beyond traditional psychiatry to further strengthen CenExel’s overall therapeutic experience, and this acquisition continues their Phase I expansion into other areas of medicine.

CenExel CNS operates in 54,000 square feet of clinical research space, including 60 beds in the Long Beach facility, with an upcoming planned move for this site to a new, nearby, state-of-the-art, 80-bed facility in Los Alamitos, CA. This will include space dedicated for psychedelic research and ethnic bridging studies. CenExel HRI operates in 42,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities totaling 90 beds, with 18 beds established for human abuse liability/ human abuse potential studies, and with additional beds in the Berlin facility dedicated to the efficient conduct of normal healthy volunteer studies.

CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI are led by Doctors David Walling and Howard Hassman, with Dr. Tom Zoda serving as the Chief Operating Officer. Doctors Walling and Hassman both have over 30 years of experience in clinical research having served as Principal Investigators for hundreds of clinical trials. Dr. Zoda has over 28 years of experience in senior roles in the pharmaceutical and clinical trials industry. Dr. Zoda will become the Chief Operating Officer of CenExel.

CenExel now comprises 19 of the most proficient, therapeutically-focused, wholly-owned clinical research sites in the country, with special emphases on Psychiatry, Neurology, Pain, Human Abuse Liability, Vaccines/Immunology, Dermatology, Ethnic Bridging, Sleep, and Clinical Pharmacology/Phase I. On a combined basis, CenExel’s clinical research units have more than 500 inpatient beds with the ability to perform both simple and highly complex early phase trials. Each of the CenExel Centers of Excellence units has an outstanding track record of assisting pharmaceutical sponsors with protocol development, study design, and conduct in Phase I-IV trials to develop new therapeutics for improved patient care. Through the acquisition of Apex Innovative Sciences, Dr. Larry Ereshefsky also joins CenExel and brings tremendous scientific affairs consulting expertise.

CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI will benefit from the CenExel site network’s fully integrated and collaborative processes, which include centralized budgeting, business development, contracting, standard operating procedures, rater training, and quality management, among other functions.

“The addition of CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI establishes the foremost therapeutically-focused clinical research site network in the neurosciences,” said Tom Wardle, CenExel CEO. “These teams have always delivered scientific expertise and operational excellence. We’re excited to work with such exceptional leaders in the CNS research community.”

We are very pleased to be joining the CenExel site network,” said Dr. Howard Hassman. “CenExel’s depth of experience and market-leading scale provides a tremendous platform for growth. We look forward to combining our extensive resources to provide unparalleled efficiency and clinical expertise as we build the industry’s highest quality and most dependable partner for complex early-stage clinical research services.”

“CenExel CNS and CenExel HRI, in combination with the rest of CenExel’s sites, now offer the foremost scientific proficiency, clinical content expertise, and operational capability in the industry,” said Dr. David Walling. “We recognize the value of coordinating with our customers to assist in the development and execution of protocols by deploying best practices in clinical research, especially pertaining to clinical quality, compliance, and patient engagement.”

CenExel was formed in 2018, and since its formation has strategically invested to support organic growth in its Centers of Excellence while also pursuing acquisitions of state-of-the-art research centers across the U.S. The mission of CenExel is to work with trial Sponsors and Contract Research Organizations to drive efficiencies in clinical research while reducing the costs and development timelines for innovative therapies to advance patient care.

FocalPoint Partners acted as the exclusive sell-side financial advisor to Apex Innovative Sciences in the transaction.


About CenExel
CenExel provides unparalleled medical and scientific support in the design and execution of clinical trials. Our therapeutic area focus, attention to detail, and auxiliary services assure quality, reliable results and help CenExel consistently achieve and exceed patient recruitment goals. CenExel Centers of Excellence have conducted thousands of studies, the variety and complexity of which have resulted in a vast depth of experience and insight for the Principal Investigators and research staff in each facility. The CenExel Centers of Excellence deliver the engagement, expertise, and results to ensure that their clients achieve their clinical research goals.

About FocalPoint Partners

FocalPoint is an independent investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions, private placements, financial restructurings, and special situation transactions. With offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Shanghai, the firm serves middle-market clients throughout the U.S. and has a dedicated healthcare practice. Its patient-centric healthcare investment banking practice collaborates with healthcare service providers demonstrating value-based characteristics designed to reduce the cost of care while enhancing outcomes.