Encorium specialises in vaccines to gain competitive edge

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Influenza Clinical trial Contract research organization

Encorium has outlined plans to specialise in vaccines, which it believes is an area it can be more flexible than big CROs, and inked a swine flu deal as part of $8.7m (€6m) of new contracts.

Speaking to Outsourcing-Pharma Kai Lindevall, executive chairman of Encorium, explained that he believes medium sized contract research organisations (CRO) must specialise to ensure they can compete for business against the big companies.

Encorium’s net revenues have fallen in recent quarters, dropping by 23 per cent in the most recent results, and it acknowledged in a regulatory filing that big CROs’ “established global presence​” and “substantially greater​” resources give them a competitive advantage.

By specialising in vaccines Encorium thinks it can gain an advantage over these CROs. Lindevall explained that although big CROs operate in the vaccine market Encorium can be more flexible.

Encorium has experience in the vaccine field, having performed trials on them in Europe since 1998, and is now modifying its business to specialise in the area.

A consultant with high-end vaccine experience, who has worked with the World Health Organization (WHO), has been engaged by Encorium to help the business improve its vaccine offering.

In addition to vaccine expertise the consultant has experience of operating in Asia-Pacific and expansion into this region, and South Africa and South America, is part of Encorium’s transformation.

This marks Encorium’s first move into emerging markets and it believes the expansion can improve its capacity to conduct large-scale global Phase III trials and increase the speed and efficiency of the recruitment process.

Lindevall added that Encorium is entering these regions by creating a clinical trial and investigator network. To achieve this Encorium is liaising with local authorities in the appropriate countries.

By engaging with local authorities and populations Lindevall thinks that Encorium can “help create something sustainable​” in these countries. Encorium is also working with leaders in European countries to establish operations in nations that are good for conducting paediatric vaccine trials.

Encorium's shares were up by 238 per cent at the end of trading yesterday.

Therapeutic vaccines for oncology

Oncology trials represent the second largest revenue generator for Encorium and the company is planning to use its vaccine expertise to succeed in this field. Therapeutic oncology vaccines represent a growth area that Encorium is targeting.

The company has an oncology network throughout Scandinavia that it will use for its oncology services.

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