In the UK 4-Front Research has acquired rival dermatological testing business Skin Research Centre, in a move that aims to meet continuing growth in demand for the research and development of skin care products.
The move also helps to consolidate what continues to be a small but fragmented market place and strengthens its position as the largest player in the European market.
"Although it is still early days, the resources and facilities of the existing Skin Research Centre business will go a long way towards helping us to meet continued growth in demand for testing of dermatological products throughout the European market place," said Simon Grundy, 4-Front Research business development director.
"Through this acquisition our business is tapping into cross-fertilization resources that will allow us to continue to expand our business at a rapid rate," he added.
In November last year the company bought up the European division of another rival personal care testing company, Hill Top Research, a move that doubled the size of the business and in particular gave a boost to both its skin care and hair care testing capabilities.
"A significant aspect of the growth in our business has been attributed to the rise in demand for anti-ageing skin care products," said Grundy. "But likewise, other aspects of skin care, together with the testing of deodorants and sun care products have also proved increasingly popular."
Currently the company works for the majority of international cosmetic and personal care companies operating in Europe, together with a large number of smaller companies. It provides a broad range of services, with core areas being the skin care and oral care segments. It also caters to the sun care, hair care and antiperspirant markets.
The company now operates from seven locations throughout the UK, has a full-time staff of 60 and an estimated 23,000 volunteers on its database.