Chiltern adds to Phase I cache

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Phase, Clinical trial, Chiltern

Chiltern has added to its Phase I cache with the purchase of a
Scottish business called Drug Development Solutions (DDS).

Via the acquisition, which is already completed, the UK-based contract research organisation (CRO) gains a Phase I unit with 42 high intensity care beds located at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee - one of the UK's major teaching hospitals. According to Chiltern, the unit has expertise in first-in-man studies and in systemic drug phototoxicity studies in humans. It is also one of only a "small number"​ of Phase I units in the UK that is located within a major hospital that can provide emergency medical services if required, the firm said. Parexel's Phase I unit at Northwick Park Hospital in North London is another such site, and its proximity to the hospital proved crucial when in 2006 a tragedy occurred at the unit during a Phase I study of an experimental monoclonal antibody, TGN1412, when all six healthy volunteers who took TGN1412 experienced an unexpected adverse reaction and were admitted to intensive care, some in a critical condition. Chiltern said that the hospital-based location of the acquired DDS unit, which has been ISO 9001 certified since 1997, will allow it to attain the higher level of voluntary accreditation available for Phase I units from the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) . The purchase of DDS adds to Chiltern's 30-bed Phase I capacity at its clinical research unit in Slough, near London, with the company indicating that it believes the UK is a premier location to conduct early-phase research. "The UK has long been a centre of excellence for early phase clinical pharmacology and offers a stable regulatory environment and internationally competitive approval timelines… approximately 14-21 days for Phase I trials",​ the firm said in a statement. Meanwhile, another acquisition closes for Chiltern this month, with the business of US-based CRO Clinical Trial Management Services (CTMS) now being fully absorbed into Chiltern's operations after a deal to take over the firm was signed last October. Based in Bristol, Tennessee, CTMS has a team of 190 staff and an emphasis on conducting clinical trials in respiratory, gastrointestinal, central nervous system, infectious disease and ophthalmology indications. Glenn Kerkhof, Chiltern's CEO said that the acquisition "significantly increases our presence and expertise within the US and strengthens Chiltern's position as a global CRO".

Related topics: Clinical Development, Phase I-II

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