50 years of pioneering, together
WCG was founded in 2012 with the goal of systematically transforming drug development by addressing the key critical pain points adversely affecting clinical trial performance.
During our 50-year history through our predecessor companies, WCG has embraced its role as a “Servant to Mankind.” At the core of our mission, we apply leading scientific knowledge and proprietary technology to advance life-saving innovations. By helping to improve the clinical trial process, we allow valuable therapies to be delivered to patients sooner and at a lower cost.
Since our founding, our end-to-end solutions have benefitted more than 5,000 biopharmaceutical companies and CROs, of which 4,000 are small and mid-cap biopharmaceutical companies, 10,000 research sites, and several million patients.
We invite you to explore below the landmark events in the more than 50-year history of WCG.
Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB) is founded by medical research pioneer, celebrated physician and noted philanthropist Dr. Angela J. Bowen. WIRB becomes the first organization of its kind, dedicated to protecting the rights and welfare of patients involved in clinical trials. WIRB is established three years before the National Institutes of Health (NIH) required ethics review of human research, four years before the news media brought the Tuskegee study to public awareness, and eight years before federal regulations demanded IRB review of human research.
Midlands IRB is founded, soon to become the leading specialist in Early Phase review.
New England IRB founded to provide regional ethical review support in Massachusetts, now the largest R&D hub in the United States.
CenterWatch becomes the first publisher of clinical trials information, data, and analysis.
Copernicus Group Independent Review Board founded growing to become the leading provider of independent IRB services to research sponsors and contract research organizations.
This is the first time that an institution has relied on an independent review board, but it will not be the last: as of 2018, WIRB is the trusted IRB partner to over 2,700 institutions, including 195 academic medical centers. Proudly, the University of Rochester continues to be one of them.
IRBNet introduces technology to institutional research management through an NIH Grant.
WIRB solidifies its partnership with institutions by expanding its services to include the administration of Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs).
The International Fellows Program was designed to address the acute shortage of high-quality, compliant research oversight in developing nations. Through this intensive training program, WIRB provides its International Fellows with a deep knowledge of regulations and guidelines, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the best practices in human subject protection.
Since its inception, the WIRB International Fellows Program has educated 150 research professionals from over 20 countries.
WIRB earned AAHRPP accreditation for meeting rigorous standards of ethics, quality, and protections for human research, and has maintained accreditation since 2003. WIRB currently administers seven individually accredited review panels. As such, WIRB is one of the world’s most respected and trustworthy research oversight bodies.
Aspire is founded, becoming the first female- and minority-led independent IRB.
Copernicus Group becomes the first IRB to achieve ISO Certification, in recognition of rigorous quality management.
Consisting of 20 of the clinical research industry’s most well-respected and innovative service companies, WCG endeavors to increase the speed and quality with which new therapies are brought to market. WIRB and Copernicus Group IRB, with New England IRB, Midlands IRB, Aspire IRB and IRBNet, make up the IRB Division of the WCG Clinical Services Organization.
WCG named one of the “20 Innovators Changing the Face of the Clinical Trials Industry” by CenterWatch.
WCG Oncology is constituted of three dedicated IRB panels, which focus wholly on the ethical oversight of oncology research, a cadre of expert oncological specialists to assist in the review of complex and scientifically-challenging research, and an expert advisory board to provide the company with strategic counsel regarding this rapidly evolving field. Each year, WCG’s IRB Division reviews over 1,000 oncology protocols and oversees significant advances in gene therapy, targeted treatments, and companion diagnostics.
ePharmaSolutions joins WCG and is named “Disruptive Innovator of the Year” by Dpharm.
karmadata named Health Datapalooza Award Winner.
WIRB follows its sister organization, Copernicus Group IRB, to become the second independent IRB to achieve ISO 9001:2008 certification in recognition of its rigorous quality management standards. WIRB, like all members of WCG’s IRB Division, is recognized for its extraordinary commitment to efficiency, the hallmark of its many continuous process improvement, quality management and lean six sigma initiatives.
In addition to the six months the Fellows spend learning about clinical research oversight at the WIRB campus in Washington state, the program now includes two weeks during which participants study research ethics at the NYU Center for Bioethics in New York City.
The WCG Gene Therapy Advisory Board is assembled to advise the company on the latest advances in the complex and fast-growing field of human gene therapy research. Comprised of experts from diverse backgrounds with specialized knowledge of the commercial development, regulatory oversight, and clinical application of products involving recombinant DNA, the Advisory Board provides guidance and strategic counsel to inform the company’s oversight of human gene transfer research, which, among other considerations, involves the careful coordination of IRB and IBC reviews.
The WCG acquisition of CenterWatch is designed to benefit the clinical trials industry, facilitating increased knowledge-sharing and communication among the key stakeholders in the clinical research environment: clinical trial sponsors, contract service providers, investigators, and study volunteers.
ThreeWire is a global patient recruitment, enrollment, and retention firm that uses a systematic, patient-focused approach to help biopharmaceutical and medical device companies and clinical research organizations achieve their clinical trial enrollment and retention goals. Prior to its acquisition, ThreeWire had already patients screened more than 2 million patients in more than 25 countries, consistently producing measurable, predictable results for its clients.
The acquisition of MedAvante and ProPhase positions WCG as the leader in the growing central nervous system (CNS) and behavioral health assessment markets through the delivery of clinical services and technology solutions that improve signal detection. With these two industry leaders added into the family of companies, WCG is able to provide clients a more comprehensive and integrated suite of study start-up solutions.
WCG celebrates milestone of 4,000 convened IBC meetings within the United States and abroad.
FDAnews joins WCG, providing global regulatory information for executives in the clinical research, biopharmaceutical and medical device industries.
WCG acquires Patient Genesis’ ConsentNow ™ eConsent technology.
The Vigilare acquisition expands WCG’s scientific review offering by adding the top provider of integrated, end-to-end pharmacovigilance and drug safety solutions for the biopharmaceutical and biotech industry.
WCG acquires ACI Clinical, a top provider of Endpoint Adjudication and Data Monitoring Safety Committees.
Companies join forces to deliver new solutions that optimize genetics in clinical trials in the era of precision medicine. Through this partnership, the companies will create the “Center for Genetics and Precision Medicine in Clinical Trials” to support biopharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations.
The addition of KMR Group and MCC positions WCG’s Market Insights and Intelligence Division as the preeminent clinical trial benchmarking and research service in the industry.
WCG Clinical Services Division has partnered with Inspire, the largest online community of patients and caregivers, to make clinical research more accessible to all patients, especially those suffering from rare and genetic-based diseases.
Eight internationally recognized subject matter experts join company to advise clients, inform strategy and support delivery of technology-enabled solutions. Reflecting multiple specialties within the therapeutic area of central nervous system (CNS), the specialists will provide expert guidance to WCG’s clients and will support the design and execution of the company’s technology-enabled solutions applied to clinical trials in neurodegenerative and behavioral health disorders.
WCG acquires leading provider of eResearch solutions for the comprehensive, automated management of institutional clinical research.
Top global consultancy teams with leading pharmacovigilance service provider to deliver seamless suite of safety solutions to accelerate clinical research.
WCG Market Intelligence & Insights Division has acquired First Clinical Research LLC, organizer of the MAGI (Model Agreements & Guidelines International) Clinical Research Conference, which unifies the clinical research ecosystem by facilitating communication and the sharing of best practices among members. First Clinical Research also publishes the Journal of Clinical Research Best Practices, a forum for sharing material of practical use in clinical research, which is distributed monthly to over 50,000 subscribers.
WCG Clinical Services Division announces the acquisition of Analgesic Solutions, LLC, the global leader in the development of new pain medications and in the support of clinical trials in which pain is an indicator of an underlying condition. WCG’s newest addition focuses on increasing assay sensitivity in clinical trials through consulting, innovative tools, data science, technology and specialized training.
WCG welcomes leading provider of administrative, consulting and training solutions for clinical research sites. For over 25 years, PharmaSeek has helped institutions, investigators and independent sites decrease study start-up timelines and reduce cost by assuming the administrative burdens of their research management, including study identification, contract and budget negotiation, coverage analysis, financial management and patient recruitment.
The WIRB-Copernicus Group®’s (WCG™) Clinical Services Division introduces Velos eResearch eXpress™, an out-of-the-box, cloud-based solution that enables clinical research sites to centralize and manage their research activities on a single, automated technology platform. Velos eResearch eXpress provides the first Site CTMS designed for smaller institutions and independent sites which do not have access to the budget, resources and scale required to implement the costly, large, and complex systems provided by other CTMS providers. Developed by WCG Velos, the trusted provider of clinical trial management solutions (CTMS) that increase the productivity and efficiency of clinical research, Velos eResearch eXpress is a fully-scalable solution that supports the sustainable advancement and growth of independent and emerging clinical research sites by making the execution of their research operations more transparent, organized and more profitable.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, WCG launched “The WCG Insights Program: Supporting best practices in a global pandemic.” This initiative shared time-sensitive, critical information with the clinical research community through a COVID-19 Webinar Series and COVID-19 Resource Center and in a collaborative effort to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 on ongoing and upcoming clinical trials. Informed by WCG’s expansive view across the clinical trials ecosystem, the program served tens of thousands of professionals by featuring the industry’s leading voices, sharing expertise in real-time, setting the pace for new best practices, and informing collective efforts to continue to drive critical innovation.
WCG announced its acquisition of Trifecta Clinical, a proven leader in technology-enabled clinical trial solutions, including its comprehensive site communication platform InvestigatorSpace®, virtual training programs and safety documentation services.
The acquisition of Trifecta expands the range of specialized services and solutions WCG offers and enhances the ability to connect sites, sponsors and CROs across the clinical trials ecosystem.
WCG announced its acquisition of The Avoca Group, a life sciences consulting firm supporting biopharma, biotech, CROs and clinical service providers, which is dedicated to improving efficiency, increasing process quality, and mitigating risk in clinical trials. With the addition of The Avoca Group, WCG expands its portfolio of solutions focused on improving patient access to needed therapies by reducing the time needed and expenses incurred in clinical trials, ensuring regulatory compliance, and improving quality management.
On July 13, 2021, WCG announced the acquisition of Intrinsic Imaging, a leading global provider of medical imaging core lab services. With over a decade of experience, a team of more than 500 board-certified physicians and comprehensive services in support of drug, medical device and artificial intelligence (AI) clinical trials, Intrinsic Imaging fortifies WCG’s scientific and regulatory capabilities, complementing the Company’s suite of solutions designed to ensure data integrity and reduce risk in clinical research.
On July 26, 2021, WCG announced the acquisition of VeraSci, a global provider of specialty scientific expertise and eClinical software to support the design and execution of clinical trials focused on central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The addition of VeraSci, based in Durham, North Carolina, deepens WCG’s scientific and patient engagement capabilities, and complements its CNS offerings, including those available via the Company’s MedAvante, ProPhase and Analgesic Solutions businesses. With this expansion, WCG is addressing the growing demand for proven scientific and technology solutions to power remote data capture, hybrid virtual studies and fully decentralized clinical trials in key CNS therapeutic areas.