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Icon readies itself for translational medicine boom with Manchester expansion

By Natalie Morrison , 14-Aug-2012
Last updated on 14-Aug-2012 at 14:06 GMT

Icon has boosted its Phase I translational medicine services in Manchester, UK, in preparation for what it believes will be a boom in the drug development area.

Under the deal, the contract research organisation (CRO) – which already has operations within the hospital – has secured a 40,000sq ft pre-let at Manchester Royal Infirmary Campus’ new biomedical center of excellence Citylabs.

The move means more capacity for services that design, deliver and interpret results from early phase clinical studies through translational medicine, which focuses on the relationship between drug exposure and response.

“This additional capacity will permit us to more fully develop our special clinical capabilities that seek to identify early efficacy signals from compounds under development in the cardiovascular, respiratory, pain, metabolic and central nervous system (CNS) areas,” Mario Rocci, president of Icon’s development solutions told Outsourcing-Pharma.com

He added that the firm also has plans to further expand its clinical pharmacodynamic model offerings.

The firm says it will fully transition the remaining Phase I services carried out elsewhere in Manchester into the new Citylabs facility, currently targeted to open in Q4 2013.

Translational medicine set for boom

Rocci also told us the reason for expansion is two fold: to support  the expansion of translational medicine services, and to help ready the firm for what it believes will bea key growth area.

Other big CROs like Quintiles have already established operations in the field.

Cyril Clarke, VP of translational medicine for Icon told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that the move also affords special relationships with the Central Manchester University Hospital Foundation Trust (CMFT) and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), which will be crucial to the success of the business sector.

He added: “A focus on Translational Medicine has long been an integral part of our strategy to meet the needs of modern drug developers. 

“We strongly believe that clients developing innovative molecules will need to understand the relationships between drug exposure and response in appropriate populations as early and as comprehensively in the drug development process as possible.” 

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