CATO SMS and Pharm-Olam Merge to Create Global Biopharmaceutical Services Leader

JANUARY 5, 2022

Newly Combined Company Uniquely Positioned to Serve Small and Mid-Sized Biopharmaceutical Companies

News Summary

  • Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based CATO SMS and Bracknell, U.K.-headquartered Pharm-Olam are merging to create a global biopharmaceutical services organization uniquely positioned to serve small and mid-sized biopharmaceutical companies
  • Market Situation: While approximately 70% of intellectual property is housed within small and mid-sized biopharmaceutical companies, it is often challenging for them to receive the full attention and depth of expertise required to design and execute Phase I-IV clinical studies
  • This merger changes this dynamic, enabling CATO SMS and Pharm-Olam to offer a greater breadth and depth of services while delivering the high-touch, personalized service for which they are known

CARY, N.C. and Bracknell, U.K., January 5, 2022 – Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based CATO SMSand Bracknell, U.K.-headquarteredPharm-Olam, both providers of specialized clinical research services, announced today that they are merging to form a leading global biopharmaceutical services organization uniquely positioned to serve the growing number of small and mid-sized companies developing complex therapies.

Although smaller businesses currently account for nearly 70% of the biopharmaceutical industry’s intellectual property, they have often found it challenging to receive the full attention of senior resources required to effectively design and manage clinical studies. CATO SMS and Pharm-Olam are joining forces to address this gap and serve the specific needs of small and mid-sized businesses.

Mark A. Goldberg, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer, CATO SMS, said:

“CATO SMS and Pharm-Olam are creating an organization that will lead the industry in addressing an exciting opportunity and tremendous need. Together, we will provide smaller biopharmaceutical companies with a differentiated offering anchored by deep scientific expertise, a partnership model and comprehensive solutions to successfully navigate the complexities of bringing novel treatments to market. Put simply, our goal is to be the market leader in meeting the needs of small to mid-sized biopharmaceutical companies.”

As one organization, CATO SMS and Pharm-Olam will manage multi-national development programs across Phase I-IV research, offering:

  • a comprehensive suite of solutions including full-service clinical trial operations, biometrics services and clinical pharmacology (including population pK, modeling and simulation)
  • world-class consulting including clinical development, global regulatory strategy and submissions, non-clinical, and Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC)
  • an expanded global footprint spanning 35 offices and 60+ countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, India and the Middle East
  • scientific and drug development expertise in complex therapeutic areas, including oncology, rare disease, infectious diseases, cell and gene therapy, immunology and central nervous diseases
  • high-touch service from a global workforce of 1,200+ employees possessing advanced medical and scientific degrees and deep clinical and technical expertise
  • the ability to perform clinical research for the U.S. government as one of the few contract research organizations pre-qualified to do so

Rob Davie, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Pharm-Olam, stated:

“Coming together with CATO SMS is the next step toward achieving our mission of being one of the most trusted clinical research providers in the industry. Both companies share a passion for understanding the distinct needs of our biopharmaceutical clients and customizing our teams and solutions to enable them to deliver innovative therapies to the patients who need them.”

Next Steps

Mr. Davie will retire from his role as CEO and serve as a senior advisor to support the transition of Pharm-Olam as it becomes part of CATO SMS. Both companies will continue to serve clients under their respective brands until they announce the new name of the combined organization, expected in early 2022.

Financial details of the merger were not disclosed.


CATO SMS is a global provider of clinical research solutions, including strategic consulting, full-service clinical trial operations, biometrics and clinical pharmacology. With more than 30 years of experience focusing on the needs of small and emerging biopharmaceutical companies, CATO SMS effectively designs and executes studies — from strategy to approval ⁠— in complex indications and modalities across a variety of therapeutic areas with a proven center of excellence in oncology. CATO SMS’ regulatory, therapeutic and operational expertise enables the company to meet goals and exceed expectations. Visit for more information.


Pharm-Olam is a global clinical research organization that delivers right-sized trial services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, government, and public health organizations around the world. The company specializes in small molecule therapies and biologics in oncology-hematology, rare disease, allergy, autoimmune, infectious disease, and vaccines. Founded in 1994, with operations in 60 countries, Pharm-Olam goes the distance to create a healthier world through agile, innovative and customized CRO solutions for Phase I-IV research. Learn how at

Patty Collinsworth, CATO SMS

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