Synergy said it chose to formalise its existing alliance with Promedica International (PMI) "based on the firms' cultural similarities in terms of client orientation and service". "Now our clients will have the opportunity to perform multi-national study activities in Russia and North America using common project and data management resources and a single set of standard operating procedures," said Nikolai Odintsov, general director of Synergy. California-based PMI specialises in Phase II-IV clinical research and its services include project management, study management and monitoring, data management, clinical quality assurance and medical writing, while SynRG offers a range of clinical trial services from regulatory affairs to pharmaco-economic surveys for Russian and foreign biopharma companies. But the deal also benefits PMI who now has direct access to the booming Russian clinical trials market - according to the firm, this deal indeed expands both firms' capabilities. "Our combined experience and service provider relationships in clinical research facilitate comprehensive, efficient clinical project plans and implementation in North America, Russia and CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries," said Ellen Palo, the firm's founder. Russia was recently voted one of the most attractive destinations to conduct clinical research outside the US but the country's clinical trials industry has recently been dealt a blow after a temporary ban on the export of human samples was implemented in May. The restriction which took several weeks to be lifted prevented hundreds of clinical trial and other research samples from being sent abroad for vital analysis. According to industry players, the situation is now back to normal but data released recently show Russia's clinical trials industry may have been impacted by the recent ban, and could take some time to bounce back. Furthermore, stricter legislations have been announced by the Russian drug regulatory body - Roszdravnadzor - in a bid to control more tightly the country's clinical trials industry.