Linden LLC

Chesapeake IRB and Schulman IRB Merge to Create Advarra

November 7, 2017 | For Immediate Release

Chicago, Illinois, November 7, 2017 – Linden Capital Partners (“Linden”) and Northlane Capital Partners (“Northlane”), announced today the merger of their portfolio companies Chesapeake IRB and Schulman IRB, respectively, to create Advarra, the premier provider of institutional review board (IRB), institutional biosafety committee (IBC), and research compliance services in North America. The new organization will leverage mutual strengths in technology, regulatory expertise, and customer service to serve the increasingly complex needs associated with research.

“By coming together as Advarra, we are merging the highest quality review organizations in the industry,” said Jeffrey Wendel, President and CEO of Chesapeake IRB. “Through a customer-centric integration we will be able to provide additional scope and capacity while maintaining the highest standards of research review and unparalleled efficiency. We are delighted to come together with a like-minded organization that places the same emphasis on integrity and quality.”

“We are tremendously excited about this strategic combination that will allow us to further develop and accelerate innovation across our portfolio of IRB services, IBC services and research compliance consulting,” said Michael Woods, President and CEO at Schulman IRB. “This also enables us to leverage our mutual technology capabilities and robust regulatory expertise to speed study start-up. Together, we are even better positioned to deliver unparalleled human subject protection and oversight with exceptional client service.”

The combined regulatory expertise and technology-enabled solutions of Chesapeake IRB and Schulman IRB will also further support and advance service offerings to academic medical centers and hospital systems, especially in light of recent regulatory mandates for single IRB review.

“We are thrilled to announce this merger and mark the beginning of the next chapter of Chesapeake and Schulman’s success. The culture of both companies revolves around tireless dedication to quality, innovation, and customer service, and Advarra will capitalize on these strengths to be the clear leader in the research compliance industry,” said Tony Davis, President and Managing Partner at Linden.

“We are proud of Schulman’s accomplishments since our investment in 2014. Combining with Chesapeake presents a unique opportunity to expand our service offering while safeguarding clinical research participants. Northlane is excited to remain an investor in Advarra in this next chapter,” said Eugene Krichevsky, Partner at Northlane.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP and King & Spalding LLP served as legal advisors to Linden and Northlane, respectively. Houlihan Lokey served as exclusive financial advisor on the transaction. Ares Capital Corporation led the financing for the transaction.

About Chesapeake IRB
Chesapeake IRB, an AAHRPP-accredited company, provides independent IRB submission and review services to pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, as well as academic medical centers and hospital systems. Its paperless, cloud-based submission and review platform, CIRBI, leads the field and has set the standard in review turnaround time, quality, and document accessibility. Headquartered in Columbia, MD, Chesapeake IRB also operates a wholly owned subsidiary, IRB Services, with offices in Toronto and Montreal, Canada. Visit for more information.

About Schulman IRB
Schulman IRB, an AAHRPP-accredited company, has been a leader in the protection of human research participants in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada since 1983. Schulman IRB offers thorough, timely IRB review services — including dedicated review capabilities for all phases of research across all therapeutic areas — to clinical trial sponsors, CROs, investigators and institutions. Schulman IRB also provides global consulting services in clinical quality assurance and human research protections, and an institutional biosafety committee service. For more information, visit

About Linden Capital Partners
Linden Capital Partners is a Chicago-based private equity firm focused exclusively on leveraged buyouts in the healthcare industry. Linden’s strategy is based upon three elements: i) healthcare specialization, ii) integrated private equity and operating expertise, and iii) strategic relationships with large corporations. Linden invests in middle market platforms in healthcare services, in addition to medical products, pharmaceuticals, and specialty distribution. For more information, please visit

About Northlane Capital Partners
Based in Bethesda, MD, Northlane Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests in growing, highly-profitable middle market companies in the following three sectors: healthcare, outsourced business services, and industrial technology. Northlane generally looks for platform companies with EBITDA of $5 million to $30 million. For more information, please visit