CROs pursue international expansion

By Phil Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Clinical development, Clinical trial, Contract research organization, Covance

The past few days have seen a string of announcements from contract research organisations (CROs) which indicate that their appetite for international expansion and development remains unsated.

Covance​ has opened new clinical development offices in Chile and Peru, and expanded its unit in Argentina, as part of its concerted push into the fast-growing Latin American market.

Wayne Langlois, Covance's vice president and general manager of clinical development services, Americas, said: "These countries offer qualified patient populations and investigators which help reduce clinical development timelines​.”

The CRO’s strategy is to target major metropolitan centres in emerging markets, and the new offices are in Chile and Peru’s capitals, Santiago and Lima. It has operated in Latin America since opening its office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1997.

Meanwhile, Irish CRO Icon plc​ has won recognition for its facilities in Singapore and Bangalore, India, from the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

CAP accreditation is internationally-recognised system of certifying the quality of laboratory work. The goal of the program is to improve patient safety by advancing the quality of pathology and laboratory services through education, standard setting and ensuring laboratories meet or exceed regulatory requirements.

Icon’s Bangalore and Singapore facilities – which provide central laboratory services for clinical trials – join the company’s existing CAP-accredited facilities in Dublin and Framingham, US.

Meanwhile, CAP accreditation has also been awarded to Covance​’s central laboratory facility in Shanghai, China. The Shanghai laboratory opened in 2007 and currently offers routine chemistry, hematology, urinalysis, immunology, special chemistry, DNA extraction, flow cytometry, and coagulation testing services.

The CRO also operates CAP-accredited central labs in Indianapolis in the US and Geneva, Switzerland.

Finally, patient recruitment specialist Synexus​ has completed the first phase of its South African expansion programme with the opening of a new research centre in Pretoria. In 2008 the company said it planned to double clinical trial capacity inSouth Africa

The new 562 sq. m. walk-in centre for outpatients is designed to serve Phase II, III and IV studies.

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