The new lab will be one of only a few global central laboratories operating in India and Quintiles is hoping to use this competitive advantage to lure more of its clients to conduct trials in the budding region.
"For Quintiles, this allows us to further maximise our global reach while minimising our customers' shipping costs," said Alan Ong, vice president and general manager, Quintiles Labs Asia.
"Investigators are very aware of the time needed to transport samples to central labs, so the addition of a lab in India will give investigators more flexibility in scheduling patient examinations and help them complete studies on time."
The new facility, to be based in Mumbai, is expected to be equipped and staffed before the end of 2006, ready to support new trials in the first quarter of 2007.
Quintiles already has its core clinical research and electrocardiogram (ECG) businesses in the same location.
"Close coordination between clinical investigators and a central lab network helps assure the high quality of data and improves the timeliness of sample processing," said Tom Wollman, senior vice president, Quintiles Global Central Laboratories.
Ferzaan Engineer, CEO of Quintiles India, said that the central laboratory will add to the range of services already offered by the company in India, including ECG, interactive voice response (IVR) and data management services as well as clinical research.
"The new lab in Mumbai will contribute to the continued growth of the regional business," said Engineer.
As Quintiles was one of the first international companies to set up clinical operations in India back in the 1990s it has been well positioned to benefit from the clinical trial explosion that is occurring in the region.
It has established itself as the largest contract research organisation (CRO) in the country, with 675 employees in offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
While continuing to build its empire in India, the firm has also been working hard to cement itself in the other burgeoning clinical trials hubs in the Asia-Pacific and the company already has existing central labs in China and Singapore covering the region.
"The new lab in India means that together with our existing labs in China and Singapore, Quintiles Laboratories will have facilities in all the major recruitment hubs in Asia," said Ong.
"Because it is a fully [Quintiles] owned facility, all operations from sample management to testing to final data transfer will be tightly controlled under our global core quality standard."