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CRO round-up: collaboration, expansions and small providers teaming-up to take on the big players

By Natalie Morrison , 14-Nov-2012

A new personalised medicine-focused partnership for AstraZeneca, expansion in three continents for World Wide clinical and six small CROs team-up to create one super-team. Outsourcing-pharma.com presents a round-up of the latest in clinical research services.

AstraZeneca has established a multi-year deal with molecular information service provider Foundation Medicine.

The partnership will focus on genomic alterations found in cancer-related tumours in a bid to predict patient response to targeted medicines.

"Our scientific understanding of cancer and the pathways driving tumor growth enables us to focus on which people are most likely to respond to our medicines,” said Susan Galbraith, VP and head of oncology innovative medicines unit, AstraZeneca.

Michael Pellini, president and CEO of Foundation Medicine added: “Together, we expect to enable a more individualized, targeted approach to cancer drug development and clinical trials.”

Six contract research organisations (CROs) have teamed-up in a bid to help small to mid-sized pharmas who cannot afford partnerships with large vendors, but who need the more extensive services they offer.

The alliance – made up of Cedarburg Hauser, XenoTech, Vince & Associates, Xenometrics, Formurex and KCAS – will work under the umbrella nextIND.

Together the firms make up a range of clinical trial services including management,  safety assurance, formulation development, testing and manufacturing.

A joint statement said: “Many sponsor companies are turning to outsourcing to increase efficiency and decrease cost throughout the drug development process. They are aligning themselves with fewer CROs that offer a more comprehensive selection of studies. Sponsors are finding that while there are conveniences dealing with large, full-service CROs, quality, expertise and timeliness often suffer.

“next IND is a strategic alliance of niche CROs, each filling a key step in the drug development process and combining to create a comprehensive suite of services to take a drug from concept to IND.”

WorldCare Clinical has added more site support in Brazil, Dubai, Poland, Spain and Singapore.

The firm said the decision to expand –adding technical support in data management platforms for the regions – was a result of increased client demand for support in local time zones and languages.

Richard Walovitch, president, said: “In addition to now having offices in Brazil, Dubai, Poland, Spain and Singapore, we also have access to a network of representatives in Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific to provide advanced technical support and training as needed.”

DisoveRx is set to acquire drug discovery vendor BioSeek.

The purchase will add phenotypic screening technology which integrates primary cell profiling into the drug discovery process to DiscoveRx’s portfolio, as well as a compound characterisation service.

Pyare Khanna, president and CEO said: “These new capabilities further strengthen our position as a premier drug discovery solution provider that develops and commercialises high-value products and specialised services."

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