In 2012, Covance reported that its early-development facility in Shanghai, China received a good laboratory practice certificate
from China's State Food and Drug Administration. The Covance facility in Shanghai provides nonclinical safety assessment,
bioanalytical, in vivo pharmacology, and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) services. Covance opened the facility
in August 2010.
PAREXEL opened a customer-care office in Shanghai in December 2012 for Perceptive Informatics, a subsidiary of PAREXEL and
eClinical solutions provider. In November 2012, PAREXEL formed an alliance with the National Taiwan University Hospital to
provide drug-development services in Taiwan. Earlier in 2012, PAREXEL was chosen by the Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF)
to serve as the fund's CRO. The KDDF is a consortium of three health-related Korean ministries: the Ministry of Knowledge
Economy, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare. KDDF was established in
September 2011 with assets of $1 billion to develop at least 10 new drugs by 2019 for the global market. The alliance with
KDDF follows PAREXEL's 2012 collaborative research agreement with the ASAN Medical Center based in Seoul.
In October 2012, ICON and the Korea National Enterprise for Clinical Trials (KoNECT) formed a partnership to advance the clinical-trials
industry in South Korea. Through the agreement, ICON and KoNECT will collaborate on a series of educational events for local
and multinational pharmaceutical companies, investigators, and industry officials. KoNECT was established in 2007 with the
support of the South Korean government, academic institutions, and life-science industries to provides clinical-research resources,
training, and support.
In February 2012, ICON completed its acquisition of BeijingWits Medical Consulting, a CRO in China with staff located in Beijing,
Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Hong Kong. The company provides services for Phase I to Phase IV clinical studies
to global and local pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies. Also, in 2012, INC Research opened a facility
in Seoul, South Korea. INC Research provides Phase I to IV clinical development services in the Asia/Pacific region with coverage
across China, India, Australia, Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand.
The CROs WuXi PharmaTech and PRA signed a joint-venture agreement in December 2012 to offer a broad platform of Phase I–IV
clinical trial services in China, Hong Kong, and Macau. The joint venture will provide services, including clinical-trial
monitoring, project management, regulatory strategy and submissions, data management, biostatistics, drug-safety reporting,
and medical monitoring. The clinical operations of WuXi and PRA in China will combine to operate as an independent CRO and
will be jointly owned by their respective parent companies. WuXi will contribute clinical and regulatory experience to the
joint venture from its China-based clinical organization. That organization covers all regions of the country and has employees
working in 16 Chinese cities, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. WuXi also will supply laboratory services
to the joint venture through a preferred-provider arrangement. PRA will support the joint venture on with its global expertise
and staffing and with its China-based staff and global technology capabilities, encompassing data capture, trial management,
and other information-technology systems. The companies will market the joint venture's services to their respective customers.
In February 2012, PRA also opened an office in Singapore for PRA's central clinical operations location for the region.
PATRICIA VAN ARNUM is executive editor of Pharmaceutical Technology, email@example.com