The partnership will leverage the global clinical research and regulatory knowledge of the contract research organization (CRO) Parexel, and CHA Medical Group’s (CHA) experience in South Korea.
“This partnership aims to help sponsors leverage the many benefits of conducting early phase trials in South Korea, including easy and rapid access to patients, low costs, and a favorable regulatory environment,” said Stanford Jhee, PharmD, Parexel corporate vice president, early phase scientific affairs.
The companies are already well underway with the collaboration, Jhee told us, and recently completed a Phase I first-in-human (FIH) clinical trial at CHA’s flagship facility in Seoul, South Korea.
Additionally, the companies are planning Phase II/Proof-of-Concept (POC) studies using CHA’s network of nine hospitals/clinics across four cities in Korea.
“As South Korea has become an attractive location for early phase trials, biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly in need of services and local expertise to enable them to run their trials in this region,” Jhee said.
“Korea has successfully established itself to conduct Phase III/Late phase global trials, and, in recent years, the demand for early phase trials has grown significantly,” he added.
Jhee explained a number of factors are driving this trend, including a growing number of western-trained expert clinical pharmacologists at selected sites, an advanced IT infrastructure, educated workforce, access to patients, and lower costs.
Parexel has 28 offices and 7,150 employees across the Asia Pacific region and established its Korea operations in 2000.