Susan Thornton PhD, president and CEO of Celerion, broke down the company’s recent moves to partner with Seoul National University Hospital in an Outsourcing-Pharma.com exclusive.
Q: Why is this expansion important now?
Thornton: Celerion focuses on translational medicine in early clinical research often requiring complex clinical studies with difficult to recruit patients. South Korea has invested heavily in state-of-the-art clinical research units with wide access to investigators and patients across the key therapeutic areas of interest to our clients.
We believe our partnership with Seoul National University Hospital and other leading institutions in South Korea will enable Celerion to successfully conduct many difficult to recruit studies. Additionally, the South Korean government is investing heavily in drug discovery and development. With Celerion’s deep experience in drug development, we will be able to support many emerging pharmaceutical companies in the region.”
Q: Is this South Korean hospital going to help Celerion conduct specific trials?
Thornton: Seoul National University Hospital will recruit and conduct trials in collaboration with Celerion. Through Seoul National University Hospital, Celerion and our clients will have access to patient populations suitable for participation in early clinical research in oncology, HCV, cardiovascular (atherosclerosis and hypertension), diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, pain, psychiatric conditions, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, asthma and COPD. Celerion will also have access to expertise in pharmacogenetics and ethnic bridging studies in Asian populations.
Q: Are there specific clients that requested this expansion?
Thornton: The expansion came through discussion with a number of the leading global pharmaceutical companies who are supporting our operations in South Korea.
Q: How many Celerion employees will be sent to help staff and conduct trials in South Korea?
Thornton: John Horkulak Executive Director, Eurasian Site Operations, will oversee operations in South Korea. The office will be staffed to meet the clinical conduct and regulatory needs of our clients.
Q: Can you provide any financial figures on this collaboration?
Thornton: We are a privately held company and as such this information is not available.