The new Clinical Research Centre (CRC) is an expansion of the existing Human Psychopharmacology Research Unit at the University of Surrey and specialises in sleep and central nervous system (CNS) research.
The centre, as well as conducting academic research, offers Phase I-III clinical testing services for pharmaceutical firms on a contract basis. In particular, the unit specialises in novel proof of concept models.
"With 12 of the best equipped sleep laboratories in the world, and a well equipped 12- bed ward, the CRC is well placed to become a major centre for clinical research in the UK," said a statement from the organisation.
Nine pharmaceutical companies are already conducting trials at the centre and Dr Julia Boyle, director of research and lecturer in psychopharmacology told Outsourcing-Pharma.com it expects to bring ten further pharma firms on board within the next year.
The CRC also plans to soon offer new services in the additional therapeutic areas of inflammation and pain, she said.
Contract research business is typically split between three types of organisations: academic research organisations (AROs), such as the CRC; large global clinical research organisations (CROs), such as Covance; as well as smaller CROs that specialise in niche areas.
When asked why the new CRC may offer an attractive alternative to CROs, Dr Boyle said: "As a clinical research centre associated with the University of Surrey we are able to offer 'value added' clinical research."
"Not only are we able to perform clinical trials to all regulatory and ethical standards but we are able to offer a more in depth service with protocol development and research dissemination both at conference and peer review level."