New clinical research firm opens in "underutilised" Ireland

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Clinical research Clinical trial Contract research organization

A new firm called Clinical Conduct Associates has been launched in
Ireland in the hope of attracting new clinical research business to
this "underutilised region" from pharmaceutical companies
throughout Europe.

Typically Ireland hasn't been a location where clinical research has been conducted by pharma firms and there are currently only three or four other CROs operating in the country, Icon Clinical Research being the largest. Quintiles did have a presence although have since moved their operations to the UK.

This may be because there aren't really any pharmaceutical firms based in Ireland and the thought of running clinical trials in the region remotely was previously considered too daunting, Sonya McKnight, clinical operations director, told

McKnight hopes all this will change now that there are CROs "on the ground" who are familiar with the local area and can run the trials for them.

"We opened the new business because we don't feel like pharmaceutical firms are yet capitalising on Ireland's clinical research facilities,"​ she said.

"We have a growing and culturally diverse population with all the common lifestyle diseases that are present in Europe and there is no reason why Ireland should not be an attractive opportunity for this industry."

The new Cork-based firm is a mixture between a site management organisation (SMO) and a contract research organisation (CRO) and will offer clinical research support services including start-up activities, project and site management, monitoring, training and closure activities.

The company currently has a staff of two directors and five clinical research associates and a list of CRA contractors that can be called upon when needed, said McKnight.

"We don not have our own research facilities, but we have good access to all major health centres in Ireland and also to regionally located primary and secondary health care providers,"​ said McKnight.

"It is from these places that we would assess and select the most suitable sites for the particular trials we are running."

Therapeutic-area wise the company will have no particular specialty, however, it will mainly focus on trials from late Phase II onwards.

"We do have connections to a CRO with a Phase I unit in Cork if required though,"​ said McKnight.

"We have a good relationship with the other CROs in Ireland and we plan to work together with them if there are any issues regarding capacity, rather than see the business leave Ireland altogether."

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