Chiltern has set up a legal entity in Taiwan that will allow it to establish its own local clinical research operations for the first time.
The firm has so far been working within the area through CRO (contract research organisation) partners, but in the face of “client demand” has decided to take a more active role in the country.
“The legal entity is a local operating company, registered in Taiwan, that will give us the means to employ staff and carry out operations in Taiwan,” Owen Lewis, Chiltern’s executive VP of legal affairs, and general counsel told Outsourcing-Pharma.
The company is now hunting for staff in the area to start work on Phase II to IV global clinical trials as soon as possible.
Umakanta Sahoo, executive director of Asia Pacific and managing director of India – who is in charge of the expansion– told us that clients are pushing to work in the country because Asia is an attractive market, and Taiwan has an especially “supportive regulatory environment, excellent hospital infrastructure and healthcare system.”
He said: “Taiwan is a good country to perform clinical research and has other related opportunities Chiltern is pursuing.”
Sahoo added that existing regional collaborations between Chiltern’s units in Asian countries with the USA and European had whetted customers’ appetites for work within Taiwan.
Of partnering with local companies over research, Sahoo was coy, saying: “This depends on the nature of trials.”
He added: “We may work with local vendors or laboratories if the trial would require this.”
Venturing further into Asia-Pacific
Chiltern’s love affair with the Asia-Pacific region started with a drive for expansion in the region in 2010.
At the time spokeswoman Natalie Chong told Outsourcing-Pharma the business would focus on establishing more activities, with its Singapore unit acting as a central hub, adding: “The size of the clinical trial population coupled with the expanding network of investigators in key therapeutic areas of interest to Chiltern makes expansion in this region an essential choice.”
In last week’s statement about the new Taiwanese legal entity, Sahoo said more legal entities in other important countries will be a “natural progression” to strengthen Chiltern’s foothold.