Outsourcing-Pharma.com compiles the news that has featured in the clinical contract community of late, involving ClinTec, Synexus, Tripos, Qualia, Icon, and Encorium Group.
ClinTec has announced its intentions to set up a new global headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland, which is home to over 6,000 life sciences outfits. In doing so, the UK-based contract research organisation (CRO) will create 240 new positions in the region over the next three years and will benefit from a Regional Selective Assistance Grant from the Scottish government, worth £1.3m (€1.9m). From this location, ClinTech will conduct all its administrative functions, in addition to hosting a clinical trial implementation team for its global studies. Fellow UK CRO Synexus has just confirmed that its £18.1m sale of the company to private equity firm Lyceum Capital has now been completed.
The new owner has created a new entity called Sigma Acquisitions as the buyout vehicle, and has promised to fund Synexus' global expansion ventures, providing it with the funds to continue its acquisitive strategy, without the firm having to worry about a falling share price. The sale of the business is not expected to impact the daily functioning of the firm - it will effectively be business as usual. This past week, Tripos Discovery Research has announced a name change. The drug discovery chemistry services firm is now to be called Exelgen. It has also been revealed that Qualia Clinical Services has been selected by US biotech firm Oragenics selected to provide clinical site services for its recently approved Phase Ib trial.
The study is designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability its investigational SMaRT replacement therapy, as a means for treating or preventing dental cavities and related bacterial infections. Testing will be done on healthy, adult male subjects over a six-week period, with a long-term follow-up evaluation at six months and subject enrolment is expected to begin in early 2008. In other news, Ireland-based CRO Icon Clinical Research has been named 2007 North American pharmaceutical & biotechnology service provider of the year by Frost and Sullivan. "Icon's rapid revenue growth has been matched by a record growth in backlog levels signifying a strong foundation that is likely to drive future business growth," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Barath Shankar.
"While diversification of its client base and business has been the cornerstone of Icon's performance in the period between 2004 and 2007, it has made significant investments that enable the company to provide a comprehensive range of services targeting the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries." Meanwhile, Encorium Group said recently that it has been awarded a total of $4m in new business contracts, although only some of it was for work on new clinical trials - the remainder was through changes-of-scope to existing contracts. The breakdown was not divulged. Services to be performed include project management, field monitoring, data management, statistics, medical writing, and quality assurance, in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular disease, and biologics/vaccines. Also recently, the University of Iowa was awarded a seven-year contract by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the tune of $23.7m.
The university is one of eight sites selected by the NIH to conduct clinical trials on flu vaccines on its behalf.