Skip to main content

LUND, S.E., 23 January 2023 – Today, TFS HealthScience, a global contract research organization, announced a strategic acquisition of Appletree CI Group to enhance the company’s existing expertise in the complex fields of ophthalmology, dermatology, medical devices, and pediatric studies, simultaneously expanding geographic reach for clients.

Ophthalmology is a rapidly growing field of medicine, with novel innovations and cutting-edge treatments for sight-threatening diseases. A recent study published in The Journal of American Medicine found a 203% increase in funding for ophthalmology research from 2014 to 2020. Additionally, the worldwide ophthalmology drug market is expected to reach $60.3 billion by 2028, an increase of 6.4% from 2021 figures.

“We are proud to partner with Appletree as we continue to provide our clients with in-depth, comprehensive knowledge and therapeutic expertise, particularly in the field of ophthalmology,” said CEO of TFS HealthScience, Bassem Saleh. “This acquisition, and others in the pipeline, are a clear indicator of the growth and success of TFS. The partnership with Appletree will have a measurable impact on better treatments for patients and company growth, establishing a new presence in Switzerland and additional presence in Poland, Belgium, Hungary, and the U.K.”

The strategic acquisition of Appletree will complement TFS HealthScience’s mission to be a market leader in ophthalmology research. In a targeted business shift toward ophthalmology expertise, the company launched its elite site network initiative and site liaison services, which will shift the industry’s approach to ophthalmology clinical trial delivery.

“Today is a significant milestone for our company as we finalize our first acquisition in Ophthalmology, establishing clear leadership in a niche industry where expertise is highly valued, as clinical trials and strategy for ophthalmology indications are held to specific rules and regulations,” said VP of TFS HealthScience’s Ophthalmology Business Unit, Marcia Swank.

The two companies will now offer clients complimentary and expanded service offerings, including a specialized therapeutic focus in ophthalmology with an increased global footprint.

“We are thrilled to be joining the TFS HealthScience family,” said President and CEO of Appletree, Georg Mathis. “As one of the primary clinical service providers in Europe with in-depth knowledge of the complex medical devices and ophthalmology industry, we are prepared to exceed the expectations of our clients and patients.”

Appletree CI Group was founded in 2013 following the merger of Clinical Investigations and Appletree AG. The company is focused on five primary business areas; in addition to ophthalmology and medical devices, they have expertise in the fields of dermatology, pediatric trials, and regulatory affairs.


About TFS
TFS HealthScience is a global Contract Research Organization (CRO) that supports biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies throughout their entire clinical development journey. In partnership with customers, we build solution-driven teams working for a healthier future. Bringing together nearly 800 professionals, TFS delivers tailored clinical research services in more than 40 countries and supports customers with comprehensive solutions through three strong business models: Clinical Development Services (CDS), which provides full-service support at all stages of the clinical development process, Strategic Resourcing Solutions (SRS), which offers expert insourcing and targeted recruitment services, and Functional Services (FSP), to provide customers with strategic workforce management solutions.

TFS HealthScience Ophthalmology has been the CRO of choice for more than 65 biotechnology and pharmaceutical clinical research projects in 24 countries and has an established presence in over 600 sites globally for clients ranging from industry leaders to early-stage companies and private practitioners, covering a variety of ocular pathologies from anterior to posterior segments.

Detailed information about TFS and its business offerings can be obtained through

About Appletree CI Group
Appletree CI Group is an expert niche CRO and global regulatory affairs service provider with track records in ophthalmology and medical device investigations. We are present in 11 European countries and have over 30 permanent staff. By having an in-depth understanding of local cultures and customs, as well as experience with national regulations we are able to facilitate your clinical development and regulatory projects.


Media Contact
Emma Primon
Executive Director, Marketing & Communications 


Business Development Contact
Julia Day
Executive Director, Business Development