Fort told in-PharmaTechnologist that the Sophia centre, which will be run by leading clinician Borislav Borissov, expands Synexus’ Bulgarian network and enables the firm to add secondary care trials to its existing primary care offering.
While Synexus is not the only trials firm to be operating in Eastern Europe, both PPD and Covance have recently bolstered their local presences in recent months, the UK firm believes it has adopted a unique strategic approach to making the best of the advantages offered by the region.
Fort said that while trials in Eastern Europe provide cost savings compared with Western Europe, they are less significant than those provided by having a single research centre capable of handling hundreds of patients rather than many trial sites managing few .
“For example a major pharma shared with us some figures involving a major trial that are revealing,” said Fort explaining that the company in question had spent $17m on setting up investigator sites, 60 per cent of which recruited one patient or less.
“We have verified these figures with several other pharmas and CROs who found them in line with their own experience. So with one contract for hundreds, and increasingly thousands, of patients Synexus offers huge savings.”
He also said that eastern Europe offers a much large pool of treatment naive patients than Western Europe and added that Synexus plans to “substantially increase” its number of trial sites in the region.
In terms of the Synexus’ global trials presence, Fort explained that: “We are already in India and are presently looking at a number of further opportunities. We have not yet entered China and while we have no immediate plans we are l[examining] a couple of possibilities.”
“However we have a lot on our plate as we are already aggressively expanding in Europe, India and Africa with several announcements scheduled in the next six months.”