The contract research organization (CRO) who has previously run a number of trials in South Africa has announced it intends to use its base in Pretoria as a springboard to access the rest of Africa.
“We will be expanding our operational presence organically through hiring and training of local talent,” Myrna Sanchez - Executive Assistant, Business Development at PSI CRO – told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.
“The authorities and investigative sites are supportive of clinical trials and open to learning. This helps [us] run international clinical trials in a timely fashion with high quality data.”
Furthermore, she continued,“the regulatory environment in South Africa is conducive to international clinical trials offering predictable study start-up timelines and steady patient enrolment across a wide range of therapeutic areas.”
According to the company, on top of regulatory oversight there also exists a strong infrastructure supporting international clinical trials.
Speaking to this publication in June, Neil McCarthy, managing partner at the investment bank Fairmount Partners, said CROs with a greater global presence, especially in South Africa, the MENA (Middle-East and North Africa) region or SE Asia are becoming more attractive to pharma firms looking to run trials.
This was the case for Pfizer who, also in June, chose three of Synexus’ clinical research centres in South Africa to be part of its 100-site INSPIRE programme, based on the sites’ experience and the“patient volumes specific to that disease therapeutic area,”said Pfizer spokeswoman Sonia Braham at the time.
Though Africa is deemed an emerging market for both pharma and CROs, between 2004 and 2010, contract research giant Quintiles claims it had been involved in 250 trials, enrolling 10,000 patients in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt.