Quintiles: Africa is the next drug development frontier

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Malaria, Clinical research, Africa

Quintiles has targeted Africa as the next non-traditional area to develop new medicines and the opening of its office in Ghana, which is now fully operational, is a major step in this process, Gillian Corken, head of Quintiles in Africa, told Outsourcing-Pharma.

The Accra, Ghana office was established in June and Corken believes it “offers huge potential​”​to reach the estimated 760m patients in Sub-Saharan Africa. Quintiles’ office is now fully operational and has initiated a large malaria vaccine trial.

Corken explained that the vaccine trial demonstrates how Quintiles staff are able to “anticipate needs and roll up our sleeves and deliver​”, adding that the Ghana office represents “the beginning of an exciting journey​” for the company.

The office is based in the grounds of the University of Ghana at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. Alex Nyarko is director of the institute and will continue to work with Quintiles, as will David Ofori-Adjei who has entered into a partner-site agreement with the company.

Neels Barnard is heading clinical operations at the Ghana site and is living and working in the country. Assisting him are five clinical research associates (CRA) and one clinical trial administrator (CTA).

The CRAs and CTA will follow a comprehensive global training plan for their job description. Training takes the form of self study, audio distance, webinars and teaching in classrooms, all of which is intended to give staff the technical capabilities and soft skills needed to conduct trials.

Investigators at the institute will also receive training covering good clinical practices (GCP), protocols, regulations and ethics committees. This forms part of Quintiles agreement with the institute.

Since the establishment of the Ghana office Quintiles has stressed that it will “strictly adhere to ethical principles articulated by international guidelines such as ICH, the Declaration of Helsinki, CIOMS and the Belmont Report​”.

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