Covance strengthens Asian clinical trial capabilities

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Covance, Clinical trial

Covance has stepped up its laboratory testing capabilities in the
Asia Pacific region to satisfy the growing number of sponsors
conducting clinical studies in this budding location.

The company has announced several new developments in the region - signing two new contracts with large Japanese firms, achieving regulatory accreditation for two of its main laboratories and expanding its lab testing and kit production facilities.

"These latest developments will help more clients to conduct clinical trials in the Asia Pacific rim,"​ said John Marolf, general manager of Covance central laboratory services, Asia Pacific and Southern Africa.

Biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly interested in integrating China, Japan, Singapore, India and other Asian Pacific countries into their global studies in order to increase the speed of drug development and reduce study costs.

Asia also has the largest pool of patients with cancer, cardiovascular and infectious diseases - therapeutic areas that are now accounting for 70 per cent of all new drugs.

Covance has announced that Japan's two largest central laboratories - Mitsubishi Kagaku Bio-Clinical Laboratories (MBC) and SRL Medisearch - will service its clients' clinical trials in Japan using Covance's unique Virtual Central Laboratory (VCL) service.

The VCL service is designed for clinical trials that require fast turnaround time, such as acute care or oncology studies, as well as studies in regions where issues such as transport logistics prevent the use of a traditional central laboratory.

The service uses proprietary Covance calibration processes and technology and a network of VCL regional and local laboratories to collate data into a single, global database that can be accessed by sponsors in near real-time through Covance's secure on-line laboratory data access tool.

The expansion of Covance's VCL services in Japan enables the company to offer the broadest global laboratory network, with 19 premier VCL regional laboratories and over 800 local laboratories in more than 35 countries around the world.

"Japan, like China, poses interesting challenges for clinical trial sponsors,"​ said Jaap Dijkman, general manager of Covance VCL.

"The combination of well established, high-quality regional laboratories in Japan and our global central laboratory capabilities provides our customers with an optimal solution for integrating Japanese clinical trial data into their global studies without compromising investigator needs."

Covance also announced that its dedicated laboratory in Singapore and its laboratory service provider in Shanghai, China - Huashan Hospital Center of Laboratory Medicine - have both now received certification by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

On the back of this the firm now leads the industry with a network of four CAP-certified and five Level 1 NGSP-certified laboratory testing facilities around the world.

In both the China and Singapore laboratories, the company has also recently quadrupled its special testing services in the areas of microbiology, immunology, special chemistry and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing in HIV, HBV and HCV.

Finally, the world's number two clinical research organisation (CRO) announced the expansion of kit production facilities in Sydney, Australia.

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