The US-based contract research organisation (CRO) has expanded into Japan via one of its business units, Venturepharm Asia, a contract research business in Beijing, China, specialising in process scale-up, formulation development, manufacturing and clinical trial management. The new office in Tokyo will focus on supplying business development and local services to the Japanese pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, including compound screening, medicinal, computational and synthetic chemistry. According to business intelligence firm Research and Markets, outsourcing spending by biopharma firms across all phases of pharmaceutical development is projected to increase in Asia in the next one to two years, with the quantum of increase for phase II, phase III, and phase IV trial budgets likely to be higher than preclinical and phase I budgets. Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan are among the other countries in the Asia Pacific tipped by the firm to experience an increase in the number of CRO-conducted clinical research. With regard to Japan, South Korea, and Australia, diseases affecting the CNS are likely to be among the most outsourced research areas, with Japan also likely to attract studies in the additional therapeutic areas of allergy/respiratory, pain management and dermatology. As such, international services companies have been setting up new business operations in the country to tap in to this growth opportunity in the market. "This new office, our first in Japan, marks CBI's growth into one of the major world markets for pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D," said Paul D'Sylva, CEO of CBI. "Adding this office allows us to offer our Japanese customers the added benefit of expert local client support and project management." To push forward with the company's plans in this new location, CBI has appointed Mikio Taniguchi as regional business development manager of the Japan operations. He will be responsible for providing business development and client support for CBI products and services related to drug discovery collaborations, and the products and services of our Exelgen, Mimotopes, and CBI business units, the firm said. Meanwhile, Japan is not the only region the company is eyeing for new business. In April CBI announced a new partnership with New Zealand Pharmaceuticals (NZP), under which the two firms will jointly provide their drug development services, in order to reach a wider market. NZP's managing director Dr Richard Garland said that the arrangement was formed to "enhance" the product offering of both companies. Via an exclusive referral and co-marketing arrangement, the two firms will provide drug discovery companies with a range of small molecule chemistry products and services, focused on glycotherapeutic products, for use throughout the drug development spectrum, from research, to process scale-up and commercialisation. Under the alliance, CBI's subsidiary, Exelgen will provide customers with research products and services, while NZP will supply clients with identified preclinical lead candidates, as well as good manufacturing practice (GMP) standard products for clinical applications and beyond.