Headlands Research Acquires Six Clinical Research Sites As It Seeks to Transform the Clinical Trial Process
Growing Platform of Clinical Research Sites Aims to Drive Higher Quality Standards, Increase Patient Enrollment, and Accelerate Clinical Trial Development
SAN FRANCISCO, November 13, 2019 — Headlands Research, a KKR-backed next- generation site organization seeking to profoundly impact the clinical trial landscape, today announced that it has acquired six clinical research centers across the U.S. and Canada, establishing a strong foundation to fulfill its mission to make high-quality therapeutics available to patients in an expedited manner. The six acquired research centers span three organizations: Centex Studies, Clinical Research Atlanta, and Okanagan Clinical Trials.
Headlands Research aims to disrupt the status quo by leveraging patient-centric best practices to significantly increase the number of people who take part in trials and exceed industry standards with the highest quality data. The acquisition of these six highly regarded and well-established research centers with long-standing research expertise gives the organization a substantial footprint in the site organization landscape.
“The acquisitions of these outstanding clinical trial sites allow Headlands Research to meaningfully impact the clinical trial process by focusing on the inclusion of populations that are traditionally underserved in terms of ethnicity and geography,” said Mark Blumling, CEO and Founder of Headlands Research. “Moreover, our goal is to enable the approval of high-quality therapeutics that will benefit all patients in need, with a particular focus on specialty populations and complex diseases.”
Headlands Research’s acquisitions include:
• Centex Studies Centex Studies includes three multi-specialty research centers in Houston and McAllen, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Centex Studies is known for its successful physician partnership model, as well as its adoption and creation of new technology in the site space. The geographic presence of the three sites creates an ideal opportunity for improved diverse and specialty trial participation, specifically in the Hispanic and African-American populations.
• Clinical Research Atlanta Clinical Research Atlanta is a multi-specialty research group with facilities located in Stockbridge and Griffin, Georgia. Clinical Research Atlanta has a strong reputation for exceptional quality of research and outstanding patient recruitment. The centers are recognized for their expertise in the recruitment of specialty populations, including healthy volunteers. As in the case of Centex Studies, the geographic location of Clinical Research Atlanta allows for improved participation among the underserved African-American population.
• Okanagan Clinical Trials Located in Kelowna just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Okanagan Clinical Trials is a high-quality, long-standing site addressing Central Nervous System conditions.
“With esteemed leadership, access to capital, and a focused strategy that includes acquiring established and successful clinical trial sites, Headlands Research has effectively set itself up for rapid growth,” said Ali Satvat, Member of KKR and Head of KKR Health Care Strategic Growth. “With more potential acquisitions on the horizon, Headlands is well positioned to make significant strides in its goal to change the clinical trial landscape.”
For Headlands Research, the acquisition of these six sites represents the first step in its plan to significantly impact the clinical research and trial space. In the coming years, the organization plans further global acquisitions, as well as building new clinical trial sites by integrating clinical trials into clinical care. In doing so, Headlands will dramatically increase the number of people participating in clinical trials.
“The clinical research and trial space faces a number of challenges, including a lack of trials that effectively address underserved populations and complex diseases. Headlands Research aims to change this trend,” said Dr. Neel Varshney, Director at KKR. “With its priorities firmly focused on high-quality data, faster study start-up and patient retention — not to mention a diverse and growing roster of clinical sites in the U.S. and Canada — Headlands has the ability to deliver access to diverse and specialty populations that too often go overlooked.”
About Headlands Research
Headlands Research was founded on the idea that clinical trial research needs to significantly evolve to better match the current healthcare climate, as well as the real-world needs of patients. Its mission is to profoundly change the clinical process through a platform of best-in-class research facilities that gather high-quality data through increased trial participation while addressing specialty populations that are underserved. Based in San Francisco and backed by KKR, Headlands aims to ensure that high-quality therapeutics are made available to patients who can benefit from them. Additional information about the company is available at
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds.
The investment in Headlands is being funded through KKR’s Health Care Strategic Growth Fund. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at
Lauren Chazal, Headlands Research