As the globalization of clinical trials continues, the major CROs are expanding their operations in Asia and South America.
In January 2013, Charles River Laboratories acquired a 75% ownership of Vital River, a commercial provider of research models
and related services in China. For the past 10 years, Vital River has been a licensee for production and distribution of Charles
River's research models in China. The agreement provides an option for Charles River to acquire the remaining 25% of Vital
River at a later date. As part of the Vital River acquisition, Charles River will be the exclusive global partner for distribution
of model-creation services offered through Beijing Vital Star Biotechnology. The services of Beijing Vital Star Biotechnology
include humanized model creation using inducible pluripotent stem cell and other technologies.
In June 2012, Quintiles announced its plans to establish a Quintiles regional headquarters for China in Shanghai and expand
laboratory-testing capabilities in China, which includes a partnership with Shanghai Clinical Research Center (SCRC). Under
a joint-venture agreement, Quintiles will engage SCRC to provide laboratory-testing services to local customers. Founded under
the collaborative framework of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Shanghai Municipality in 2008, SSCRC is a full-service
clinical research center in China. To provide the infrastructure for its growth strategy in China, Quintiles is investing
$14 million to establish a new 4000-m2 headquarters in Shanghai to serve China and nearby Asian countries. The facility is expected to accommodate more than 450
employees in the next five years. The Quintiles–SCRC collaboration follows the 2011 launch of Kun Tuo, a Quintiles' CRO that
serves local and global biopharmaceutical companies in achieving successful registration of medicines in China. Quintiles
began operations in China in 1997 and now has existing offices in Beijing, Dalian, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
Quintiles is expanding elsewhere in Asia. In October 2012, Quintiles began its first global study involving Indonesia, made
possible by an exclusive alliance with Prodia Clinical Laboratory for in-country testing of samples from Indonesian patients
in clinical trials. In an Oct., 24, 2012, press release, Quintiles noted prior to its partnership with Prodia that Indonesia
had been difficult to include in global trials because of requirements that all local samples be tested in-country before
samples or data could be exported. In November 2011, Quintiles announced an exclusive partnership with the Jakarta-based Prodia
Clinical Laboratory, through its sister company Prodia, which gave Quintiles exclusive access to Prodia's central laboratory
for a two-year period.
To enhance its bioanalytical service offerings in Asia, Quintiles formed, in December 2012, an exclusive partnership with
BioCore, a Seoul, Korea-based bioanalytical CRO. BioCore is a provider of bioanalytical liquid chromatography–tandem mass
spectrometry. Under the agreement, BioCore will provide its services to Quintiles exclusively for a two-year period. Quintiles'
growing global bioanalytical capabilities began with its acquisition of Advion BioServices in 2011. In July 2012, Quintiles
opened a global commercial solutions business in Brazil. Quintiles had earlier expanded its global commercial solutions business
into Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa.