The scheme, which will cover all aspects of preclinical research, GLP, management and patient recruitment, will be available in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, and fits with wider efforts to boost R&D according to Helix chairman, Venkateswar Rao.
Dr Rao told Outsourcing-pharma, “We felt inspired by Nordic government policies and the efforts of government and non-government associations, clinicians and researchers, to promote R&D initiatives in this region.”
Nordic governments, Rao said, are now providing funds for investigator-driven research activities with ethical clinical research being carried out by the Nordic Innovation Centre and the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN), and so, Helix is exploring possible collaborations.
This exploration, Rao explained, will see Helix’ personnel work with government agencies, professional associations, academia, doctors, researchers and ethics committees to gain a better understanding of the research process in the pan-Nordic region.
Rao also described Nordic countries as some of the “most suitable destinations for global clinical trials,” offering the highest quality and accuracy, and adding that Helix is already witnessing demand.
“We already have requests for proposals for some Phase II and III global clinical trials, and are exploring the possibility of placing these studies in the Nordic region,” he said.
Ethical research standards
Rao highlighted ethics as a critical focus for the project, explaining that UK-based Helix will ensure informed consent is taken as per the GCPs as well as motivating principal investigators to comply with these standards.
“In a nutshell,” said Rao, “strict adherence to International Conference on Harmonisation - Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP) and regulations will always ensure we carry out ethical research.”
Added to this, “There is always a demand for clinical research organisations (CROs),” he said, despite admitting that demand for investigator-driven and industry-driven clinical trials in the region - and elsewhere - has waned during the recession.
There is however “no recession for dreadful diseases,” Rao added, “so the industry is slowly picking up.”
With this in mind, Helix intends to promote “better health in the world community,” starting with the Nordic region.