Icon has forged an alliance with the South Korean Government in a bid to boost local trial activity.
The partnership – in conjunction with the Korea National Enterprise for Clinical Trials (KoNECT) – will launch a series of educational events for local and multinational pharmaceutical companies, investigators and industry officials.
Irish clinical service provider Icon says it hopes the move will boost both its own presence in the “growing” market, as well as helping to drive South Korean clinical business in general.
Wei Ming Goh, VP of Icon’s Asia Pacific branch, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com: “Korea has become a key region for global pharma companies conducting clinical trials for a number of reasons. Start-up times in Korea are competitive with other Asian countries and it is one of fastest countries to initiate investigator sites to enroll patients.”
He added that the area’s strong infrastructure – such as its well defined regulatory and institutional review board (IRB) requirements, as well as the fact most hospitals have clinical trial centres and well-trained site officials and clinical staff – also makes the country attractive for researcher organisations.
In a statement KoNECT president Sang-Goo Shin said the Government hopes to leverage Icon’s “wealth of expertise” in both the local and global clinical research market.
He said: “Together we can develop high quality clinical research professionals and a clinical trials infrastructure that can support the increased demand from local and global pharma companies.”
Driving the local market
The move however was not simply to attract more business from the increasing amount of international companies showing interest in South Korea , according to Ming Goh.
He said: “There is a strong local pharmaceutical industry in Korea and Korean clients tend to be well informed and very clear on their drug development strategies.”
He added that with South Korea’s “ambitious targets” to work with Western markets, firms have so far seemed keen to take Icon up on its service offering.
“I think the clinical trials sector will continue to grow and develop and partnerships such as Icon’s with KoNECT will help to further advance the industry,” said Ming Goh.
The deal follows Quintiles’ partnership with KoNECT earlier this year.