Arsenal Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that invests in middle-market healthcare, specialty industrial, and financial services companies, announced the acquisition of Copernicus Group Institutional Review Board (CGIRB), a provider of compliance services which play an integral role in the clinical trial process for new drugs and medical devices.

Copernicus IRB, established in 1996, is an independent provider of federally mandated IRB panels. The primary responsibility of IRBs is to ensure that the rights and welfare of human research subjects are protected. IRBs must review and approve the handling of research protocols and study-related information before research involving human subjects can begin and throughout the study thereafter. The company, with offices in the U.S. and affiliates in Canada, provides review services primarily to clinical research organizations (CROs) and major drug and medical device sponsors throughout North America.

Stephen McLean, a partner at Arsenal and co-head of the firm’s Healthcare Group, said, “Copernicus is a highly regarded provider of critical compliance services that ensure the ethical conduct of research by global clinical research organizations. The company has a well-deserved reputation as the most technologically advanced central IRB in the world.” He added, “Our team of healthcare executives looks forward to collaborating with Copernicus in furtherance of its mission to benefit all of the constituencies that depend upon safe and effective progress of pharmaceutical research.”

Dr. Donald A. Deieso, operating partner and co-head of Arsenal’s Healthcare Group will become executive chairman of Copernicus IRB. Deieso commented, “Our investment in Copernicus continues Arsenal’s focus on building a portfolio of world class companies which support clinical research. Copernicus is just such a company.”

Earlier this year, Arsenal acquired Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB), a global IRB to major research institutions. Deieso commented, “WIRB and Copernicus will continue to serve their unique client segments through separate organizations and management.” He added, “We are committed to applying Arsenal’s financial resources, executive experience, and industry relationships in assisting each company fulfill their respective growth strategies.”