Frontier Biosciences settles in China

By Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmacology

US services provider Frontier Biosciences has announced that it has
bought a majority stake in a China-based preclinical contract
research organisation (CRO).

With this new deal, Frontier becomes a shareholder and partner in the National Chengdu Center for Safety Evaluation of Drugs (NCCSED) - a contract research lab specialised in drug safety evaluation. The move is designed to enable the firm to boost its preclinical capacity in the country. "We used to be in collaboration with the Chengdu Center but we have now a contractual partnership and we co-manage the facility,"​ Beth Wong, assistant vice president of business development at Frontier told "Instead of putting up our own facility we decided it was better to partner with an organisation who has existing capabilities and a good track record in conducting preclinical studies." ​ Wong said the company will expand the existing facilities to bring its bioanalytical capacity to full-scale. In addition, Frontier plans to relocate its Chengdu-based primate breeding activity into the new plant and will also increase the size of its toxicology facility. Significantly reduced costs, shorter duration of the studies, and the possibility of simultaneous approval in multiple markets are just some of the major benefits of doing trials in China, which have contributed to the country's appeal and more drug makers are outsourcing more and more clinical and preclinical work to China-based CROs. Furthermore, animal welfare group PETA recently alleged that a number of pharma companies are exporting their animal testing to countries with no or poor animal welfare standards to avoid US laws. Recent legal reform, raised manufacturing standards and reduced bureaucracy have made the region highly attractive to its western counterparts, who are always looking to cut costs without sacrificing quality of work. The new facility Frontier is currently building is expected to be up and running by early 2008.

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