ERG was formed when four clinical research businesses that had been working together under collaboration agreements, but without common ownership, were merged and integrated to form ERG, a clinical research site organization focused in the conduct of both inpatient and outpatient highly specialized patient populations. DFW defined “special populations” as patients with conditions or disorders who were challenging to recruit and difficult to manage patients, primarily because measuring efficacy is more subjective than objective. Additionally, due to the nature of these illnesses, clinical studies were frequently required to be conducted in a controlled, inpatient facility and required highly trained professionals to administer the FDA required tests. These populations included patients suffering from Central Nervous System “CNS” psychiatric conditions (bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia); neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease); chronic and acute pain, addiction and sleep disorders, as well as patients with renal insufficiency and hepatic impairment.
Under DFW’s four-year ownership, the team worked closely with management to complete an aggressive acquisition program with an eye towards therapeutically diversifying ERG’s business. This acquisition program resulted in six completed acquisitions, greatly reducing the volatility in the business, increasing the geographic footprint, while also nearly tripling EBITDA. DFW also supported significant investments in ERG’s infrastructure and research facilities while enhancing finance, patient recruitment, and business development functions. ERG was sold to a larger private equity firm, resulting in a significant return for DFW, management and original selling shareholders who rolled over equity.