The California, US based contract research organization (CRO) has increased its research capabilities to include glaucoma, oculoplastics, corneal and external ocular disease, and paediatric ophthalmic conditions, with the purchase of nearby firm OC Clinical Trials & Consulting for an undisclosed ammount.
“Clinical development is trending toward the incorporation of patient populations earlier and earlier into the development process,” Talia Nikolao, VP Business Development, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.
“While there are many late stage ophthalmology research sites, there are very few Phase I units that can do early stage trials in a Phase I setting within the ophthalmology population,” she continued. “We want to provide this capability to our sponsors in ophthalmology and other select areas where we feel we have medical, scientific, and operational expertise.”
She added: “Our strategy is to provide exceptional value to our Sponsors in therapeutic areas where we have medical, scientific, and operational expertise,” and “our goal from this acquisition is to be able to provide phase I-IV clinical trial solutions.”
WCCT did have some ophthalmology capabilities prior to the acquisition, according to Nikolao, but this acquisition brings “medical expertise and a much more robust patient database.”
A research database of over 10,000 ophthalmology patients and approximately ten research staff will indeed enhance WCCT’s services, as will the two clinical research sites located within walking distance of WCCT’s three current Californian units.
As for integration, OC Clinical trials is in the process of being incorporated with WCCT, Nikolao said, “with WCCT providing Business Development and marketing support. WCCT is also providing Project Management and other Operations Management leadership.”
The growing demand for integrated early-phase ophthalmology services was also cited in a recent partnership between Calvert labs and EyeCRO, with the latter firm telling this publication in June that large pharma companies not typically in the eye-health field are increasingly exploring ophthalmic indications for their molecules.